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72    FIFTH    AVENUE. 


Copyright,  1860, 




The  four  chapters  of  which  this  work  con- 
sists, originally  appeared  as  four  Review  articles : 
the  first  in  the  Westminster  Review,  the  second 
in  the  North  British  Beview,  and  the  remaining 
two  in  the  British  Quarterly/  Beview.  Severally 
treating  different  divisions  of  the  subject,  but 
together  forming  a  tolerably  complete  whole,  I 
originally  wrote  them  with  a  view  to  their  repub- 
lication in  a  united  form  ;  and  they  would  some 
time  since  have  thus  appeared  in  England,  had 
not  the  proprietor  of  the  North  British  Beview 
refused  to  let  me  include  the  one  contributed  to 
that  periodical.  This  interdict  is,  however,  of  no 
effect  in  the  United  States  ;  and  some  transatlan- 


tic   friends   having   represented  to   me  that  an 

American  re-issue  was  desirable,  I  have  revised 

the  articles,  and  placed  them  in  the  hands  of 

Messrs.  D.  Appleton  &  Co. 

H.  S. 

LoxDON,  July,  1860. 



ir.  INTELLECTUAL  EDUCATION,       .            .  .97 

III.  MORAL  EDUCATION,          .            .            .  .161 

IV.  PHYSICAL  EDUCATION,   .            .           ,  .219 

Education  at  Eton,  1842-5. 

"  Balston,  our  tutor,  was  a  good  scholar  after  the 
fashion  of  the  day,  and  famous  for  Latin  verse ;  but 
he  was  essentially  a  commonplace  don.  '  Stephen 
major,'  he  once  said  to  my  brother,  '  if  you  do  not 
take  more  pains,  how  can  you  ever  expect  to  write 
good  longs  and  shorts  ?  If  you  do  not  write  good 
longs  and  shorts,  how  can  you  ever  be  a  man  of 
taste  ?  If  you  are  not  a  man  of  taste,  how  can  you 
ever  hope  to  be  of  use  in  the  world  ? '  " 

{The  Life  of  Sir  James   Fitzjames    Stephen,  Bart.,  by  his 
brother,  Leslie  Stephen,  pp.  80-1.) 




It  has  been  truly  remarked  that,  in  order  of 
time,  decoration  precedes  dress.  Among  people 
who  submit  to  great  physical  suifering  that  they 
may  have  themselves  handsomely  tattooed,  ex- 
tremes of  temperature  are  borne  with  but  little 
attempt  at  mitigation.  Humboldt  tells  us  that  an 
Orinoco  Indian,  though  quite  regardless  of  bodily 
comfort,  will  yet  labour  for  a  fortnight  to  purcliase 
pigment  wherewith  to  make  himself  admired  ;  and 
that  the  same  woman  who  would  not  hesitate  to 
leave  her  hut  without  a  fragment  of  clothing  on, 
would  not  dare  to  commit  such  a  breach  of  decorum 
as  to  go  out  unpainted.  Yoyagers  uniformly  find 
that  coloured  beads  and  trinkets  are  much  more 
prized  by  wild  tribes  than  are  calicoes  or  broad- 
cloths. And  the  anecdotes  we  have  of  the  ways  in 
which,  when  shirts  and  coats  are  given,  they  turn 


tliem  to  some  ludicrous  display,  show  liow  com- 
pletely the  idea  of  ornament  predominates  over 
that  of  use.  Nay,  there  are  still  more  extreme  il- 
lustrations :  witness  the  fact  narrated  by  Capt. 
Speke  of  his  African  attendants,  who  strutted  about 
in  their  goat-skin  mantles  when  the  weather  was 
fine,  but  when  it  was  wet,  took  them  off,  folded 
them  up,  and  went  about  naked,  shiyering  in  the 
rahi !  Indeed,  the  facts  of  aboriginal  life  seem  to 
indicate  that  dress  is  developed  out  of  decorations. 
And  when  we  remember  that  even  among  our- 
selves most  think  more  about  the  fineness  of  the 
fabric  than  its  warmth,  and  more  about  the  cut 
than  the  convenience — when  we  see  that  the  func- 
tion is  still  in  great  measure  subordinated  to  the 
appearance — we  have  further  reason  for  inferring 
such  an  origin. 

It  is  not  a  little  curious  that  the  like  relations 
hold  with  the  mind.  Among  mental  as  among 
bodily  acquisitions,  the  ornamental  comes  before 
the  useful.  Not  only  in  times  past,  but  almost  as 
much  in  our  own  era,  that  knowledge  which  con- 
duces to  personal  well-being  has  been  postponed  to 
that  which  brings  applause.  In  the  Greek  schools, 
music,  poetry,  rhetoric,  and  a  philosophy  which, 
until  Socrates  taught,  had  but  little  bearing  upon 
action,  were  the  dominant  subjects ;  while  knowl- 
edge aiding  the  arts  of  life  had  a  very  subordinate 
place.  And  in  our  own  universities  and  schools  at 
the  present  moment  the  like  antithesis  holds.  We 
are  guilty  of  something  like  a  platitude  when  we 


saj  that  tliroiighout  his  after-career  a  boy,  in  nine 
cases  out  of  ten,  applies  his  Latin  and  Greek  to  no 
practical  purposes.  The  remark  is  trite  that  in  his 
shop,  or  his  office,  in  managing  his  estate  or  his  fam- 
ily, in  playing  his  part  as  director  of  a  bank  or  a  rail- 
way, he  is  very  little  aided  by  this  knowledge  he  took 
so  many  years  to  acquire — so  little,  that  gener- 
ally the  greater  part  of  it  drops  out  of  his  mem- 
ory ;  and  if  he  occasionally  vents  a  Latin  quotation, 
or  alludes  to  some  Greek  myth,  it  is  less  to  throw 
light  on  the  topic  in  hand  than  for  the  sake  of  ef- 
fect. If  we  inquire  what  is  the  real  motive  for  giv- 
ing boys  a  classical  education,  we  find  it  to  be  sim- 
ply conformity  to  public  opinion.  Men  dress  their 
children's  minds  as  they  do  their  bodies,  in  the  pre- 
vailing fasliion.  As  the  Orinoco  Lidian  puts  on  his 
paint  before  leaving  his  hut,  not  with  a  view  to  any 
direct  benefit,  but  because  he  would  be  ashamed  to 
be  seen  without  it ;  so,  a  boy's  drilling  in  Latin  and 
Greek  is  insisted  on,  not  because  of  their  intrinsic 
value,  but  that  he  may  not  be  disgraced  by  being 
found  ignorant  of  them — that  he  may  have  "  the 
education  of  a  gentleman  " — the  badge  marking  a 
certain  social  position,  and  bringing  a  consequent 

This  parallel  is  still  more  clearly  displayed  in 
the  case  of  the  other  sex.  In  the  treatment  of  both 
mind  and  body,  the  decorative  element  has  con- 
tinued to  predominate  in  a  greater  degree  among 
women  than  among  men.  Originally,  personal 
adornment   occupied  the  attention   of  both   sexes 

24  -WHAT    KNOWLEDGE    18    OF   MOST    WORTH  ? 

equally.  In  these  latter  days  of  civilization,  how- 
ever, we  see  that  in  the  dress  of  men  the  regard  for 
appearance  has  in  a  considerable  degree  yielded  to 
the  regard  for  comfort ;  while  in  their  education 
the  useful  has  of  late  been  trenching  on  the  orna- 
mental. In  neither  direction  has  this  change  gone 
so  far  with  women.  The  wearing  of  ear-rings,  fin- 
ger-rings, bracelets ;  the  elaborate  dressings  of  the 
hair  ;  the  still  occasional  use  of  paint ;  the  immense 
labour  bestowed  in  making  habiliments  sufficiently 
attractive ;  and  the  great  discomfort  that  will  be 
submitted  to  for  the  sake  of  conformity  ;  show  how 
greatly,  in  the  attiring  of  women,  the  desire  of  ap- 
probation overrides  tlie  desire  for  warmth  and  con- 
venience. And  similarly  in  their  education,  the 
immense  preponderance  of  "  accomplishments " 
proves  how  here,  too,  use  is  subordinated  to  dis- 
play. Dancing,  deportment,  the  piano,  singing, 
drawing — what  a  large  space  do  these  occupy  !  If 
you  ask  why  Italian  and  German  are  learnt,  you 
will  find  that,  under  all  the  sham  reasons  given,  the 
real  reason  is,  that  a  knowledge  of  those  tongues  is 
thought  ladylike.  It  is  not  that  the  books  written 
in  them  may  be  utilized,  which  they  scarcely  ever 
are ;  but  that  Italian  and  German  songs  may  be 
sung,  and  that  the  extent  of  attainment  may  bring 
whispered  admiration.  The  births,  deaths,  and 
marriages  of  kings,  and  other  like  historic  trivial- 
ities, are  committed  to  memory,  not  because  of  any 
direct  benefits  that  can  possibly  result  from  know- 
ing them  ;  but  because  society  considers  them  pai'ts 


of  a  good  education — ^because  tlie  absence  of  sucli 
knowledge  may  bring  the  contempt  of  others. 
When  we  have  named  reading,  writing,  speUing, 
grammar,  arithmetic,  and  sewing,  we  have  named 
about  all  the  things  a  girl  is  taught  with  a  view  to 
their  direct  uses  in  life  ;  and  even  some  of  these 
liave  more  reference  to  the  good  opinion  of  others 
than  to  immediate  personal  welfare. 

Tlioroughlv  to  realize  the  truth  that  with  the 
mind  as  with  the  body  the  ornamental  precedes  the 
useful,  it  is  needful  to  glance  at  its  rationale.  Tliis 
lies  in  the  fact  that,  from  the  far  past  down  even  to 
the  present,  social  needs  have  subordinated  individ- 
ual needs,  and  that  the  chief  social  need  has  been 
the  control  of  individuals.  It  is  not,  as  we  com- 
monly suppose,  that  there  are  no  governments  but 
those  of  monarchs,  and  parliaments,  and  constituted 
authorities.  These  acknowledged  governments  are 
supplemented  by  other  unacknowledged  ones,  that 
grow  up  in  all  circles,  in  which  every  man  or  wo- 
man strives  to  be  king  or  queen  or  lesser  dignitary. 
To  get  above  some  and  be  reverenced  by  them,  and 
to  propitiate  those  who  are  above  us,  is  the  univer- 
sal struggle  in  which  the  chief  energies  of  life  are 
expended.  By  the  accumulation  of  wealth,  by 
style  of  living,  by  beauty  of  dress,  by  display  of 
knowledge  or  intellect,  each  tries  to  subjugate 
others  ;  and  so  aids  in  weaving  that  ramified  net- 
work of  restraints  by  which  society  is  kept  in  order. 
It  is  not  the  savage  chief  only,  who,  in  formidable 
war-paint,  with  scalps  at  his  belt,  aims  to  strike 


awe  into  his  inferiors  ;  it  is  not  only  the  belle  who, 
hy  elaborate  toilet,  polished  manners,  and  numer- 
ous accomplishments,  strives  to  "  make  conquests  ;  " 
but  the  scholar,  the  historian,  the  philosopher,  use 
their  acquirements  to  the  same  end.  We  are  none 
of  us  content  -svitli  quietly  unfolding  our  own  indi- 
vidualities to  the  full  in  all  directions  ;  bnt  have  a 
restless  craving  to  impress  our  individualities  upon 
others,  and  in  some  way  subordinate  them.  And 
this  it  is  which  determines  the  character  of  our  ed- 
ucation. Xot  what  knowledge  is  of  most  real  worth, 
is  the  consideration  ;  but  what  will  bring  most  ap- 
plause, honour,  respect — what  will  most  conduce  to 
social  position  and  influence — what  will  be  most 
imposing.  As,  throughout  life,  not  what  we  are, 
but  what  we  shall  be  thought,  is  the  question  ;  so 
in  education,  the  question  is,  not  the  intrinsic  value 
of  knowledge,  so  much  as  its  extrinsic  effects  on 
others.  And  this  being  our  dominant  idea,  direct 
utility  is  scarcely  more  regarded  than  by  the  bar- 
barian when  filing  his  teeth  and  staining  his  nails. 

If  there  needs  any  further  evidence  of  the  rude, 
undeveloped  character  of  our  education,  we  have  it 
in  the  fact  that  the  comparative  worths  of  different 
kinds  of  knowledge  have  been  as  yet  scarcely  even 
discussed — much  less  discussed  in  a  methodic  way 
with  definite  results.  Not  only  is  it  that  no  stand- 
ard of  relative  values  has  yet  been  agreed  upon ; 
but  tlie  existence  of  any  such  standard  has  not 
been   conceived    in  any   clear   manner.     And  not 


only  is  it  that  the  existence  of  any  such  standard 
has  not  been  clearly  conceived  ;  but  the  need  for  it 
seems  to  have  been  scarcely  even  felt.  Men  read 
books  on  this  topic,  and  attend  lectures  on  that; 
decide  that  their  children  shall  be  instructed  in 
these  branches  of  kiiowledge,  and  shall  not  be  in- 
structed in  those  ;  and  all  under  the  guidance  of 
mere  custom,  or  liking,  or  prejudice  ;  without  ever 
considering  the  enormous  importance  of  determin- 
ing in  some  rational  way  what  things  are  really 
most  worth  learning.  It  is  true  that  in  all  circles 
we  have  occasional  remarks  on  the  importance  of 
this  or  the  other  order  of  information.  But  whether 
the  degree  of  its  importance  justifies  the- expendi- 
ture of  the  time  needed  to  acquire  it ;  and  whether 
there  are  not  tilings  of  more  importance  to  which 
the  time  might  be  better  devoted  ;  are  queries 
which,  if  raised  at  all,  are  disposed  of  quite  sum- 
marily, according  to  personal  predilections.  It  is 
true  also,  that  from  time  to  time,  we  hear  revived 
the  standing  controversy  respecting  the  comparative 
merits  of  classics  and  mathematics.  Not  only,  how- 
ever, is  this  controversy  carried  on  in  an  empirical 
manner,  with  no  reference  to  an  ascertained  crite- 
rion ;  but  the  question  at  issue  is  totally  insignifi- 
cant when  compared  with  the  general  question  of 
which  it  is  part.  To  suppose  that  deciding  wheth- 
er a  mathematical  or  a  classical  education  is  the 
best,  is  deciding  what  is  the  proper  cumculum,  is 
much  the  same  thing  as  to  suppose  that  the  whole 


of  dietetics  lies  in  determining  whether  or  not  bread 
is  more  nutritive  than  potatoes  ! 

Tlie  question  which  we  contend  is  of  such  tran- 
scendent moment,  is,  not  wlietlier  such  or  such 
knowledge  is  of  worth,  l>nt  what  is  its  relative 
worth  ?  When  thej  have  named  certain  advan- 
tages which  a  given  course  of  study  has  secured 
them,  persons  are  apt  to  assume  that  they  have  jus- 
tified themselves :  quite  forgetting  that  the  ade- 
quateness  of  the  advantages  is  the  point  to  be 
judged.  There  is,  perliaps,  not  a  snbject  to  which 
men  devote  attention  that  has  not  some  value.  A 
year  diligently  spent  in  getting  up  heraldry,  would 
very  possibly  give  a  little  further  insight  into  an- 
cient manners  and  morals,  and  into  the  origin  of 
names.  Any  one  who  should  learn  the  distances 
between  all  the  towns  in  England,  might,  in  the 
course  of  his  life,  find  one  or  two  of  the  thousand 
facts  he  had  acquired  of  some  slight  service  when 
arranging  a  journey.  Gathering  together  all  the 
small  gossip  of  a  county,  profitless  occupation  as  it 
would  be,  might  yet  occasionally  lielp  to  establish 
some  useful  fact — say,  a  good  example  of  hereditary 
transmission.  But  in  these  cases,  every  one  M'oxild 
admit  that  there  was  no  proportion  between  the  re- 
quired lal)our  and  the  probable  benefit.  No  one 
would  tolerate  the  proposal  to  devote  some  years 
of  a  boy's  time  to  getting  such  information,  at  the 
cost  of  much  more  valuable  information  which  he 
miglit  else  have  got.  And  if  here  the  test  of  rela- 
tive value  is  appealed  to  and  held  conclusive,  then 


should  it  be  appealed  to  and  held  conclusive 
throughout.  Had  we  time  to  master  all  subjects 
we  need  not  be  particular.    To  quote  the  old  song  : — - 

Could  a  man  be  secure 

That  his  days  would  endure 

As  of  old,  for  a  thousand  long  years, 

"What  things  might  he  know  ! 

"What  deeds  might  he  do  ! 

And  all  without  liurry  or  care. 

"  But  we  that  have  but  span-long  lives  "  must  ever 
bear  in  mind  our  limited  time  for  acquisition.  A.nd 
remembering  how  narrowly  this  time  is  limited,  not 
only  by  the  shortness  of  life,  but  also  still  more  by 
the  business  of  life,  we  ought  to  be  especially  solic- 
itous to  employ  what  time  we  have  to  the  greatest 
advantage.  Before  devoting  years  to  some  subject 
which  fashion  or  fancy  suggests,  it  is  surely  wise  to 
weigh  with  great  care  the  worth  of  the  results,  as 
compared  with  the  worth  of  various  alternative  re- 
sults which  the  same  years  might  bring  if  otherwise 

In  education,  then,  this  is  the  question  of  ques- 
tions, which  it  is  high  time  we  discussed  in  some 
methodic  way.  The  first  in  importance,  though  tlie 
last  to  be  considered,  is  the  problem — how  to  decide 
among  the  conflicting  claims  of  various  subjects  on 
our  attention.  Before  there  can  be  a  rational  cfur^ 
rieulum,  we  must  settle  which  things  it  most  con- 
cerns us  to  know" ;  or,  to  use  a  word  of  Bacon's, 
now  unfortunately  obsolete — we  must  determine 
the  relative  values  of  knowledges. 

30  AVHAT    KNOWLKDGE    IS    OF   MOST    WORTH  ? 

To  this  end,  a  measure  of  value  is  tlie  first  re- 
quisite. And  happily,  respecting  the  true  measure 
of  value,  as  expressed  in  general  terms,  there  can 
be  no  dispute.  Every  one  in  contending  for  the 
worth  of  any  particular  order  of  information,  does 
60  by  sliowing  its  bearing  upon  some  jjart  of  life. 
In  rejjly  to  the  question,  "  Of  what  use  is  it  ?  "  the 
mathematician,  linguist,  naturalist,  or  philosopher, 
exphiins  the  way  in  which  his  learning  beneficially 
infiuences  action — saves  from  evil  or  secures  good — 
conduces  to  happiness.  When  the  teacher  of  writ- 
ing has  pointed  out  how  great  an  aid  writing  is  to 
success  in  business — that  is,  to  the  obtainment  of 
sustenance — that  is,  to  satisfactory  living ;  he  is 
held  to  have  proved  his  case.  And  when  the  col- 
lector of  dead  facts  (say  a  numismatist)  fails  to  make 
clear  any  appreciable  eff'eets  which  these  facts  can 
produce  on  human  welfare,  he  is  obliged  to  admit 
that  they  are  comparatively  valueless.  All  then, 
either  directly  or  by  implication,  appeal  to  this  as 
the  ultimate  test. 

How  to  live  ? — that  is  the  essential  question  for 
us.  Not  how  to  live  in  the  mere  material  sense 
only,  but  in  the  widest  sense.  Tlie  general  problem 
wliich  comprehends  every  special  problem  is — the 
right  ruling  of  conduct  in  all  directions  under  all 
circumstances.  In  what  way  to  treat  the  body  ;  in 
what  way  to  treat  the  mind  ;  in  what  way  to  man- 
age our  afifaii-s  ;  in  what  way  to  bring  up  a  family  ; 
in  what  way  to  behave  as  a  citizen  ;  in  Mliat  way 
to  utilize  all  those  sources  of  happiness  which  nature 


bupplies — how  to  use  all  our  faculties  to  the  great- 
est advantage  of  ourselves  and  others — how  to  live 
completely  ?  And  this  being  the  great  thing  needful 
for  us  to  learn,  is,  by  consequence,  the  great  thing 
which  education  has  to  teach.  To  prepare  us  for 
complete  living  is  the  function  which  education  has 
to  discharge  ;  and  the  only  rational  mode  of  judg- 
ing of  any  educational  course  is,  to  judge  in  what 
degree  it  discharges  such  function. 

This  test,  never  used  in  its  entirety,  but  rarely 
even  partially  used,  and  used  then  in  a  vague,  half 
conscious  way,  has  to  be  applied  consciously,  me- 
thodically, and  throughout  all  cases.  It  behoves  us 
to  set  before  ourselves,  and  ever  to  keep  clearly  in 
view,  complete  living  as  the  end  to  be  achieved  ;  so 
that  in  bringing  up  our  children  we  may  choose 
subjects  and  methods  of  instruction,  with  deliberate 
reference  to  this  end.  Not  only  ought  we  to  cease 
from  the  mere  unthinking  adoption  of  the  current 
fashion  in  education,  which  has  no  better  warrant 
than  any  other  fashion  ;  but  we  must  also  rise  above 
that  rude,  empirical  style  of  judging  displayed  by 
those  more  intelligent  people  who  do  bestow  some 
care  in  overseeing  the  cultivation  of  their  children's 
minds.  It  must  not  suffice  simply  to  t?t,inh  that 
such  or  such  information  will  be  useful  in  after  life, 
or  that  this  kind  of  knowledge  is  of  more  practical 
value  than  that ;  but  we  must  seek  out  some  process 
of  estimating  their  respective  values,  so  that  as  far 
as  possible  we  may  positively  Tcnow  which  are  most 
deserving  of  attention. 

82  -WHAT   KNOWLEDGE    IS    OF   MOST    WORTH  ? 

Doubtless  the  task  is  difficult — perhaps  never 
to  be  more  than  approximately  achieved.  But, 
considering  the  vastness  of  the  interests  at  stake, 
its  difficulty  is  no  reason  for  pusillanimously  pass- 
ing it  by  ;  ])ut  rather  for  devoting  every  energy  to 
its  mastery.  And  if  we  only  proceed  systematic- 
ally, we  may  very  soon  get  at  results  of  no  small 

Our  lirst  step  must  obviously  be  to  classify,  in 
the  order  of  their  importance,  the  leading  kinds  of 
activ'^y  which  constitute  human  life.  Tliey  may 
be  naturally  arranged  into : — 1.  Those  activities 
which  directly  minister  to  self-preservation ;  2. 
Those  activities  which,  by  securing  the  necessaries 
of  life,  indirectly  minister  to  self-preservation  ;  3. 
Those  activities  which  have  for  their  end  the  rear- 
ing and  discipline  of  offspring ;  4.  Those  activities 
which  are  involved  in  the  maintenance  of  proper 
social  and  political  relations  ;  5.  Those  miscella- 
neous activities  which  make  up  the  leisure  part  of 
life,  devoted  to  the  gratification  of  the  tastes  and 

That  these  stand  in  something  like  their  true 
order  of  subordination,  it  needs  no  long  considera- 
tion to  show.  The  actions  and  precautions  by 
which,  from  moment  to  moment,  we  secure  personal 
safety,  must  clearly  take  precedence  of  all  others. 
Could  there  be  a  man,  ignorant  as  an  infant  of  all 
surrounding  ol)jects  and  movements,  or  how  to 
guide  himself  among  them,  he  would  pretty  cer- 
tainly lose  his  life  the  lirst  time  he  went  into  thp 


street :  notwithstanding  anj  amount  of  learning  he 
might  have  on  other  matters.  And  as  entire  igno- 
rance in  all  other  directions  would  be  less  promptly- 
fatal  than  entire  ignorance  in  this  direction,  it  must 
be  admitted  that  knowledge  immediately  conducive 
to  self-preservation  is  of  primary^  importance. 

That  next  after  direct  self-preservation  comes 
tlie  indirect  self-preservation  which  consists  in  ac- 
cpiiring  the  means  of  living,  none  will  question. 
Tliat  a  man's  industrial  functions  must  be  con- 
sidered before  his  parental  ones,  is  manifest  from 
the  fact  that,  speaking  generally,  the  discharge  of 
the  parental  functions  is  made  possible  only  by  the 
previous  discharge  of  the  industrial  ones.  The  pow- 
er of  self-maintenance  necessarily  preceding  the 
power  of  maintaining  offspring,  it  follows  that 
knowledge  needful  for  self-maintenance  has  stronger 
claims  than  knowledge  needful  for  family  welfare 
■ — is  second  in  value  to  none  save  knowledge  need- 
ful for  immediate  self-preservation. 

As  the  family  comes  before  the  State  in  order  of 
time — as  the  bringing  up  of  children  is  possible  be- 
fore the  State  exists,  or  when  it  has  ceased  to  be, 
whereas  the  State  is  rendered  jDOSsible  only  by  the 
bringing  up  of  children  ;  it  follows  that  the  duties 
of  the  parent  demand  closer  attention  than  those  of 
the  citizen.  Or,  to  use  a  further  argument — since 
the  goodness  of  a  society  ultimately  depends  on  the 
nature  of  its  citizens  ;  and  since  the  nature  of  its  cit- 
izens is  more  modifiable  by  early  training  than  by 
anything  else ;  we  must  conclude  that  the  welfare 


of  the  family  underlies  the  welfare  of  society.  And 
hence  knowledge  directly  conducing  to  the  first, 
must  take  precedence  of  knowledge  directly  con- 
ducing to  the  last. 

Those  yarious  fonns  of  pleasurable  occupation 
■which  fill  up  the  leisure  left  by  graver  occupations 
— the  enjoyments  of  music,  poetry,  painting,  <fcc. — 
manifestly  imply  a  pre-existing  society.  Kot  only 
is  a  considerable  deyelopment  of  them  impossible 
without  a  long-established  social  union ;  but  their 
yery  subject-matter  consists  in  great  part  of  social 
sentiments  and  sympathies.  ISTot  only  does  society 
supply  the  conditions  to  their  growth  ;  but  also  the 
ideas  and  sentiments  they  express.  And,  conse- 
quently, that  part  of  human  conduct  which  consti- 
tutes good  citizenship  is  of  more  moment  than  that 
which  goes  out  in  accomplishments  or  exercise  of 
the  tastes  ;  and,  in  education,  preparation  for  the 
one  must  rank  before  preparation  for  the  other. 

Such  then,  we  repeat,  is  something  like  the  ra- 
tional order  of  subordination  : — Tliat  education 
which  prepares  for  direct  self-preseryation  ;  that 
which  prepares  for  indirect  self-preservation ;  that 
which  prepares  for  parenthood  ;  that  which  prepares 
for  citizenship  ;  that  which  prepares  for  the  miscel- 
laneous refinements  of  life.  We  do  not  mean  to 
say  that  these  divisions  are  definitely  separable. 
We  do  not  deny  that  they  are  intricately  entangled 
with  each  other  in  such  \yay  that  there  can  be  no 
trainiiig  for  any  that  is  not  in  some  measure  a  train- 
ing for  all.     Kor  do  we  question  that  of  each  di' 


vision  there  are  portions  more  important  than  cer- 
tain portions  of  the  preceding  divisions  :  that,  for  in- 
stance, a  man  of  much  skill  in  business  but  little 
other  faculty,  may  fall  further  below  the  standard 
of  complete  living  than  one  of  but  moderate  power 
of  acquiring  money  but  great  judgment  as  a  pa- 
rent ;  or  that  exhaustive  information  bearing  on 
right  social  action,  joined  with  entire  want  of  gen- 
eral culture  in  literature  and  the  fine  arts,  is  less 
desirable  than  a  more  moderate  share  of  the  one 
joined  with  some  of  the  other.  But,  after  making 
all  qualifications,  there  still  remain  these  broadly- 
marked  divisions  ;  and  it  still  continues  substan- 
tially true  that  these  divisions  subordinate  one  an- 
other in  the  foregoing  order,  because  the  corre- 
sponding divisions  of  life  make  one  another  'possible 
in  that  order. 

Of  course  the  ideal  of  education  is — complete 
preparation  in  all  these  divisions.  But  failing  this 
ideal,  as  in  our  phase  of  civilization  every  one  must 
do  more  or  less,  the  aim  should  be  to  maintain  a 
due  'proportion  between  the  degrees  of  preparation 
in  each.  Not  exhaustive  cultivation  in  any  one,  su- 
premely important  though  it  may  be — not  even  an 
exclusive  attention  to  the  two,  three,  or  four  divis- 
ions of  greatest  importance  ;  but  an  attention  to 
all, — greatest  where  the  value  is  greatest,  less  where 
the  value  is  less,  least  where  the  value  is  least.  For 
the  average  man  (not  to  forget  the  cases  in  which 
peculiar  aptitude  for  some  one  department  of  knowl- 
edge rii'htlv  makes  that  one  the  bread-winningc  oc- 


cupation) — for  the  average  man,  we  say,  the  desid- 
eratum is,  a  training  tliat  approaches  nearest  to 
perfection  in  tlie  things  wliich  most  subserve  com« 
plete  living,  and  falls  more  and  more  below  perfec- 
tion in  the  things  that  have  more  and  more  remote 
bearings  on  coniplete  living. 

In  regulating  education  by  this  standard,  there 
are  some  general  considerations  that  should  be  ever 
present  to  us.  The  worth  of  any  kind  of  culture, 
as  aiding  complete  living,  may  be  either  necessary 
or  more  or  less  contingent.  There  is  knowledge  of 
intrinsic  value  ;  knowledge  of  quasi-intrinsic  value ; 
and  knowledge  of  conventional  value.  Such  facts 
as  that  sensations  of  numbness  and  tingling  com- 
monly precede  paralysis,  thattlie  resistance  of  water 
to  a  body  moving  througli  it  varies  as  the  square 
of  the  velocity,  that  chlorine  is  a  disinfectant, — these, 
and  tlie  truths  of  Science  in  general,  are  of  intrinsic 
value  :  they  will  bear  on  human  conduct  ten  thou- 
sand years  hence  as  they  do  now.  The  extra  knowl- 
edge of  our  own  language,  which  is  given  l)y  an  ac- 
quaintance with  Latin  and  Greek,  may  be  consid- 
ered to  liave  a  value  that  is  quasi-intiinsic  :  it  must 
exist  for  us  and  for  otlier  races  whose  laniiuao-es  owe 
mucli  to  theee  sources  ;  but  will  last  only  as  long  as 
our  languages  last.  While  that  kind  of  information 
which,  in  our  schools,  usurps  the  name  History 
— the  mere  tissue  of  names  and  dates  and  dead  un- 
meaning events — has  a  conventional  value  only  :  it 
has  not  the  remotest  bearing  upon  any  of  our  ac- 
tions ;  and  is  of  use  only  for  the  avoidance  of  those 


onpleasant  criticisms  which  current  opinion  passes 
upon  its  absence.  •  Of  course,  as  those  facts  whicli 
concern  all  mankind  throughout  all  time  must  he 
held  of  greater  moment  than  those  which  concern 
only  a  portion  of  them  during  a  limited  era,  and  of 
far  greater  moment  than  those  which  concern  only  a 
portion  of  them  during  the  continuance  of  a  fashion ', 
it  follows  that  in  a  rational  estimate,  knowledge  of 
intrinsic  worth  must,  other  things  equal,  take  pre- 
cedence of  knowledge  that  is  of  quasi-intrinsic  or 
conventional  worth. 

One  further  preliminary.  Acquirement  of  every 
kind  has  two  values — value  as  knowledge  and  value 
as  discipline.  Besides  its  use  for  guidance  in  con- 
duct, the  acquisition  of  each  order  of  facts  has  also 
its  use  as  mental  exercise  ;  and  its  effects  as  a  pre- 
parative for  complete  living  have  to  be  considered 
under  both  these  heads. 

These,  then,  are  the  general  ideas  with  which  we 
must  set  out  in  discussing  a  curriculum  : — Life  as 
divided  into  several  kinds  of  activity  of  successively 
decreasing  importance  ;  the  worth  of  each  order  of 
facts  as  reofulatino;  these  several  kinds  of  activitv, 
intrinsically,  quasi-intrinsically,  and  conventionally  ; 
and  their  regulative  influences  estimated  both  as 
knowledge  and  discipline. 

Happily,  that  all-important  part  of  education 
which  goes  to  secure  direct  self-preservation,  is  in 
great  part  already  provided  for.  Too  momentous  to 
be  left  to  our  blundering,  IS^ature  takes  it  into  her 


own  liands.  Wliile  yet  in  its  nurse's  arms,  tlie  infant, 
by  hiding  its  face  and  crying  at  the  sight  of  a  stran- 
ger, shows  the  dawning  instinct  to  attain  safety  by 
flying  from  that  which  is  iinlmown  and  may  be 
dangerous ;  and  when  it  can  walk,  the  terror  it 
manifests  if  an  unfamiliar  dog  comes  near,  or  the 
screams  with  which  it  runs  to  its  mother  after  any 
startling  sight  or  sound,  shows  this  instinct  further 
developed.  Moreover,  knowledge  subserving  direct 
self-preservation  is  that  which  it  is  chiefly  busied 
in  acquiring  from  hour  to  hour.  How  to  balance 
its  body ;  how  to  control  its  movements  so  as  to 
avoid  collisions  ;  what  objects  are  hard,  and  will 
hurt  if  struck  ;  what  objects  are  heavy,  and  injure 
if  they  fall  on  the  limbs  ;  which  things  will  bear 
the  weight  of  the  body,  and  which  not ;  the  pains 
inflicted  by  fire,  by  missiles,  by  sharp  instruments 
— these,  and  various  other  pieces  of  information 
needful  for  the  avoidance  of  death  or  accident,  it  is 
ever  learning.  And  wdien,  a  few  years  later,  the 
energies  go  out  in  running,  climbing,  and  jumping, 
in  games  of  strength  and  games  of  skill,  we  see  in 
all  these  actions  by  which  the  muscles  are  devel- 
oped, the  perceptions  sharpened,  and  the  judgment 
quickened,  a  preparation  for  the  safe  conduct  of  the 
body  among  surrounding  objects  and  movements ; 
and  for  meeting  those  greater  dangers  that  occa° 
sionally  occur  in  the  lives  of  all.  Being  thus,  as 
we  say,  so  well  cared  for  by  Nature,  this  funda- 
mental education  needs  'comparative^ly  little  care 
from  us.     What  we  are  chiefly  called  upon  to  see. 


is,  that  there  shall  be  free  scope  for  gaining  this  ex- 
perience, and  receiving  this  discipline, — that  there 
shall  be  no  such  thwarting  of  Nature  as  that  by 
which  stupid  schoolmistresses  commonly  prevent 
the  girls  in  their  charge  from  the  spontaneous  phys- 
ical activities  they  would  indulge  in  ;  and  so  ren- 
der them  comparatively  incapable  of  taking  care  of 
themselves  in  circumstances  of  peril. 

This,  however,  is  by  no  means  all  that  is  com- 
prehended in  the  education  that  prepares  for  direct 
self-preservation.  Besides  guarding  the  body 
against  mechanical  damage  or  destruction,  it  has 
to  be  guarded  against  injury  from  other  causes — 
against  the  disease  and  death  that  follow  breaches 
of  physiologic  law.  For  complete  living  it  is  ne- 
cessary, not  only  that  sudden  annihilations  of  life 
shall  be  warded  off ;  but  also  that  there  shall  be  es- 
caped the  incapacities  and  the  slow  annihilation 
which  unwise  habits  entail.  As,  without  health 
and  energy,  the  industrial,  the  parental,  the  social, 
and  all  other  activities  become  more  or  less  impos- 
sible ;  it  is  clear  that  this  secondary  kind  of  direct 
self-preservation  is  only  less  important  than  the  pri- 
mary kind ;  and  that  knowledge  tending  to  secure 
it  should  rank  very  high. 

It  is  true  that  here,  too,  guidance  is  in  some 
measure  ready  supplied.  By  our  various  physical 
sensations  and  desires,  Nature  has  insured  a  tolera- 
ble conformity  to  the  chief  requirements.  Fortu- 
nately for  us,  want  of  food,  great  heat,  extreme  cold, 
produce  promptings  too  peremptory  to  be   disre- 


garded.  And  would  men  liahituallyohey  these  and 
all  like  promptings  when  less  strong,  comparatively 
few  evils  would  arise.  If  fatigue  of  body  or  brain 
were  in  every  case  followed  by  desistance ;  if  the 
oppression  produced  by  a  close  atmosphere  always 
led  to  ventilation  ;  if  there  were  no  eating  without 
hunger,  or  drinking  without  thirst ;  then  would  the 
system  be  but  seldom  out  of  working  order.  But 
so  profound  an  ignorance  is  there  of  the  laws  of  life, 
that  men  do  not  even  know  that  their  sensations  are 
their  natural  guides,  and  (when  not  rendered  mor- 
bid by  long-continued  disobedience)  their  trust'vt'or- 
thy  guides.  So  that  though,  to  speak  teleologic- 
ally,  Kature  has  provided  efficient  safeguards  to 
health,  lack  of  knowledge  makes  them  in  a  great 
measure  useless. 

If  any  one  doubts  the  importance  of  an  acquaint- 
ance with  the  fundamental  principles  of  physiology 
as  a  means  to  complete  living,  let  him  look  around 
and  see  how  many  men  and  women  he  can  find  in 
middle  or  later  life  who  are  thoroughly  well.  Oc- 
casionally only  do  we  meet  with  an  example  of 
vigorous  health  continued  to  old  age ;  hourly  do 
we  meet  with  examples  of  acute  disorder,  chroniu 
ailment,  general  debility,  premature  decrepitude. 
Scarcely  is  there  one  to  whom  you  put  the  ques- 
tion, who  has  not,  in  the  course  of  his  life,  brought 
upon  himself  illnesses  which  a  little  knowledge 
would  have  saved  him  from.  Here  is  a  case  of 
heart  disease  consequent  on  a  rheumatic  fever  that 
followed  reckless  exposure.     There  is  a  case  of  eyes 


spoiled  for  life  by  overstudy.  Yesterday  the  ac- 
count was  of  one  whose  long-enduring  lameness  was 
brouglit  on  by  continuing,  spite  of  the  pain,  to  use 
a  knee  after  it  liad  been  slightly  injured.  And  to 
day  we  are  told  of  another  who  has  had  to  lie  b;y 
for  years,  l^ecause  he  did  not  know  that  the  palpita- 
tion he  suffered  from  resulted  from  overtaxed  brain., 
Now  we  hear  of  an  irremediable  injury  that  follow- 
ed some  silly  feat  of  strength  ;  and,  again,  of  a  con- 
stitution that  has  never  recovered  from  the  effects 
of  excessive  work  needlessly  undertaken.  AVliile 
on  all  sides  we  see  the  perpetual  minor  ailments 
wliich  accompany  feebleness.  Not  to  dwell  on  tlie 
natural  pain,  the  weariness,  the  gloom,  the  waste 
of  time  and  money  thus  entailed,  only  consider  how 
greatly  ill-health  hinders  the  discharge  of  all  duties 
— makes  business  often  impossible,  and  always  more 
difficult ;  produces  an  irritability  fatal  to  the  right 
management  of  children  ;  puts  the  functions  of  citi- 
zenship out  of  the  question  ;  and  makes  amusement 
a  bore.  Is  it  not  clear  that  the  physical  sins— 
partly  our  forefathers'  and  partly  our  own — which 
produce  this  ill-health,  deduct  more  from  complete 
living  than  anything  else  ?  and  to  a  great  extent 
make  life  a  failure  and  a  burden  instead  of  a  bene- 
faction and  a  pleasure  ? 

To  all  which  add  the  fact,  that  life,  besides  being 
thus  immensely  deteriorated,  is  also  cut  short.  It 
is  not  true,  as  we  commonly  suppose,  that  a  disor- 
der or  disease  from  which  we  have  recovered  leavee 
us  as  before.    No  disturbance  of  the  normal  cours© 


of  the  functions  can  pass  away  and  leave  things  ex- 
actly as  they  were.  In  all  cases  a  permanent  dam- 
age is  done — not  immediately  appreciable,  it  may 
be,  but  still  there  ;  and  along  with  other  such  items 
which  Xature  in  her  strict  account-keeping  never 
drops,  will  tell  against  us  to  the  inevitable  shorten- 
ing of  our  days.  Through  the  accumulation  of 
small  injuries  it  is  that  constitutions  are  commonly 
undermined,  and  break  down,  long  before  their 
time.  And  if  we  call  to  mind  how  far  the  average 
duration  of  life  falls  below  the  possible  duration, 
we  see  how  immense  is  the  loss.  When,  to  the  nu- 
merous partial  deductions  which  bad  health  entails, 
we  add  this  great  final  deduction,  it  results  that  or- 
duiarily  more  than  one-half  of  life  is  thrown  away. 
Hence,  knowledge  which  subserves  direct  self- 
preservation  by  preventing  this  loss  of  health,  is  of 
primary  importance.  AVe  do  not  contend  that  pos- 
session of  such  knowledge  would  by  any  means 
wholly  remedy  the  evil.  For  it  is  clear  that  in  our 
present  phase  of  civilization  men's  necessities  often 
compel  them  to  transgress.  And  it  is  further  clear 
that,  even  in  the  absence  of  such  compulsion,  their 
inclinations  would  frequently  lead  them,  spite  of 
their  knowledge,  to  sacrifice  future  good  to  present 
gratification.  But  we  do  contend  that  the  right 
knowledge  impressed  in  the  right  way  would  efl^ect 
much  ;  and  we  further  contend  that  as  the  laws  of 
health  must  be  recognised  before  they  can  be  fully 
conformed  to,  the  imparting  of  such  knowledge 
must  precede  a  more  rational  living — come  when 


that  may.  We  infer  that  as  vigorous  health  and 
its  accompanying  high  spirits  are  larger  elements 
of  happiness  than  any  other  things  whatever,  the 
teaching  how  to  maintain  them  is  a  teaching  that 
yields  in  moment  to  no  other  whatever.  And  there° 
fore  we  assert  that  such  a  course  of  physiology  as  is 
needful  for  the  comprehension  of  its  general  truths, 
and  their  bearings  on  daily  conduct,  is  an  all-essen- 
tial part  of  a  rational  education. 

Strange  that  the  assertion  should  need  making  ! 
Stranger  still  that  it  should  need  defending  !  Yet 
are  there  not  a  few  by  whom  such  a  proposition 
will  be  received  with  something  approaching  to  de- 
rision. Men  who  would  blush  if  caught  saying 
Iphigenia  instead  of  Iphigenia,  or  would  resent  as 
an  insult  any  imputation  of  ignorance  respecting 
the  fabled  labours  of  a  fabled  demi-god,  show  not 
the  slightest  shame  in  confessing  that  they  do  not 
know  where  the  Eustachian  tubes  are,  what  are  the 
actions  of  the  spinal  coigl,  what  is  the  normal  rate 
of  pulsation,  or  how  the  lungs  are  inflated.  While 
anxious  that  their  sons  should  be  well  up  in  the  su- 
perstitions of  two  thousand  years  ago,  they  care  not 
that  they  should  be  taught  anything  about  the 
structure  and  functions  of  their  own  bodies — nay, 
would  even  disapprove  such  instruction.  So  over- 
whelming is  the  influence  of  established  routine! 
So  terribly  in  our  education  does  the  ornamental 
override  the  useful ! 

We  need  not  insist  on  the  value  of  that  knowl- 
edge  which  aids  indirect  self-preservation  by  facili- 

i4  WHAT    KNOWLEDGE   IS    OF    MOST    WORTH  ? 

tating  the  gaining  of  a  livelihood.  Tliis  is  admitted 
l)y  all ;  and,  indeed,  by  the  mass  is  perhaps  too 
exclusively  regarded  as  the  end  of  education.  But 
■while  every  one  is  ready  to  endorse  the  abstract 
proposition  that  instruction  fitting  youths  for  the 
business  of  life  is  of  high  importance,  or  even  to 
consider  it  of  supreme  importance  ;  yet  scarcely 
any  inquire  what  instruction  will  so  fit  them.  It  is 
true  that  reading,  writing,  and  arithmetic  are  taught 
with  an  intelligent  appreciation  of  their  uses ;  but 
when  we  have  said  this  we  have  said  nearly  all. 
While  the  great  bulk  of  what  else  is  acquired  has 
no  bearing  on  the  industrial  activities,  an  immensi- 
ty of  information  that  has  a  direct  bearing  on  the 
industrial  activities  is  entirely  passed  over. 

For,  leaving  out  only  some  very  small  classes, 
what  are  all  men  employed  in  ?  They  are  employ- 
ed in  the  production,  preparation,  and  distribution 
of  commodities.  And  on  what  does  efficiency  in 
the  production,  preparation,  and  distribution  of 
commodities  depend  ?  It  depends  on  the  use  of 
methods  fitted  to  the  respective  natures  of  these 
commodities  ;  it  depends  on  an  adequate  knowledge 
of  their  physical,  chemical,  or  vital  properties,  as 
the  case  may  be ;  that  is,  it  depends  on  Science. 
This  order  of  knowledge,  which  is  in  great  part  ig- 
nored in  our  school  courses,  is  the  order  of  knowl- 
edge underlying  the  right  performance  of  all  those 
processes  by  which  civilized  life  is  made  possible. 
Undeniable  as  is  this  truth,  and  thrust  upon  us  as 
it  is  at  every  turn,  there  seems  to  be  no  living  con- 


scioiisness  of  it :  its  very  familiarity  makfts  it  unre- 
garded. To  give  due  weight  to  our  arguuieiit,  wc 
must,  tlierefore,  realize  this  truth  to  the  reader  by 
a  rapid  review  of  the  facts. 

For  all  the  higher  arts  of  construction,  eome  ac= 
qiiaintance  with  Mathematics  is  indispensable.  The 
village  carpenter,  who,  lacking  rational  instruction. 
lays  out  his  work  by  empirical  rules  learnt  in  his  ap- 
prenticeship, equally  with  the  builder  of  a  Britan- 
nia Bridge,  makes  hourly  reference  to  the  laws  of 
quantitative  relations.  The  surveyor  on  whose  sur^ 
vey  the  land  is  purchased  ;  the  architect  in  design- 
ing a  mansion  to  be  built  on  it ;  the  builder  in  pre- 
paring his  estimates  ;  his  foreman  in  laying  out  the 
foundations  ;  the  masons  in  cutting  the  stones  ;  and 
the  various  artisans  who  put  up  the  fittings  ;  are  all 
guided  by  geometrical  truths.  Eailway-making  i» 
regulated  from  beginning  to  end  by  mathematics ; 
alike  in  the  preparation  of  plans  and  sections ;  in 
staking  out  the  line  ;  in  the  mensuration  of  cuttings 
and  embankments ;  in  the  designing,  estimating, 
and  building  of  bridges,  culverts,  viaducts,  tunnels, 
stations.  And  similarly  with  the  harbours,  docks, 
piers,  and  various  engineering  and  architectural 
works  that  fringe  the  coasts  and  overspread  the  face 
of  the  country  ;  as  well  as  the  mines  that  run  un- 
derneath it.  Out  of  geometry,  too,  as  applied  to 
astronomy,  the  art  of  navigation  has  grown  ;  and 
so,  by  this  science,  has  been  made  possible  that 
enormous  foreign  commerce  which  supports  a  large 
part  of  our  population,  and  supplies  us  with  many 


necessaries  and  most  of  onr  luxuries.  And  now-a- 
days  even  tlie  farmer,  for  the  correct  laying  out  of 
liis  drains,  lias  recourse  to  the  level — that  is,  to  ge- 
ometrical principles.  "When  from  those  divisions  of 
mathematics  which  deal  with  space,  and  numheVj 
some  small  smattering  of  which  is  given  in  schools, 
we  turn  to  that  other  division  which  deals  with 
force,  of  which  even  a  smattering  is  scarcely  ever 
given,  we  meet  with  another  large  class  of  activities 
which  this  science  presides  over.  On  the  applica- 
tion of  rational  mechanics  depends  the  success  of 
nearly  all  modern  manufacture.  The  properties  of 
the  lever,  the  wheel  and  axle,  &c.,  are  involved  in 
every  machine — -every  machine  is  a  solidified  me- 
chanical theorem  ;  and  to  machinery  in  these  times 
we  owe  nearly  all  jiroduction.  Trace  the  history 
of  the  breakfast-roll.  Tlie  soil  out  of  which  it  came 
was  drained  with  machine-made  tiles  ;  the  surface 
was  turned  over  by  a  machine  ;  the  seed  was  put 
in  by  a  machine  ;  the  wlieat  was  reaped,  thrashed, 
and  winno\yed  by  machines  ;  by  machinery  it  was 
ground  and  bolted  ;  and  had  the  flour  been  sent  to 
Gosport,  it  might  have  been  made  into  biscuits  by 
a  machine.  Look  round  the  room  in  which  you  sit. 
If  modem,  probably  the  bricks  in  its  walls  were 
machine-made ;  by  machinery  the  flooring  was 
sawn  and  planed,  the  mantel-shelf  sawn  and  pol- 
ished, the  paper-hangings  made  and  printed  ;  the 
veneer  on  the  table,  the  turned  legs  of  the  chairs, 
the  carpet,  the  curtains,  are  all  products  of  ma* 
chinery.     And    your   clothing — plain,   figured,   of 


printed-  is  it  not  wholly  woven,  nay,  perhaps  even 
sewed,  by  machinery  ?  And  the  volume  you  are 
reading — are  not  its  leaves  fabricated  by  one  ma° 
chine  and  covered  with  these  words  by  another? 
Add  to  which  that  for  the  means  of  distributiou 
over  both  land  and  sea,  we  are  similarly  indebted. 
And  then  let  it  be  remembered  that  according  as 
the  principles  of  mechanics  are  well  or  ill  used  to 
these  ends,  comes  success  or  failure — individual  and 
national.  Tlie  engineer  who  misapplies  his  formulse 
for  the  strength  of  materials,  builds  a  bridge  that 
breaks  down.  Tlio  manufacturer  whose  apparatus 
is  badly  devised,  cannot  compete  with  another  whose 
apparatus  wastes  less  in  friction  and  inertia.  Tlie 
ship-builder  adhering  to  the  old  model,  is  outsailed 
by  one  who  builds  on  the  mechanically-justified 
wave-line  principle.  And  as  the  ability  of  a  nation 
to  hold  its  own  against  other  nations  depends  on 
the  skilled  activity  of  its  units,  we  see  that  on  such 
knowledge  may  turn  the  national  fate.  Judge  then 
the  worth  of  mathematics. 

Pass  next  to  Physics.  Joined  with  mathemat- 
ics, it  has  given  us  the  steam-engine,  which  does 
the  work  of  millions  of  labourers.  That  section  of 
physics  which  deals  with  the  laws  of  heat,  has  taught 
us  how  to  economise  fuel  in  our  various  industries ; 
how  to  increase  the  produce  of  our  smelting  furnaces 
by  substituting  the  hot  for  the  cold  blast ;  how  to 
Ventilate  our  mines  ;  how  to  prevent  explosions  by 
using  the  safety-lamp  ;  and,  through  the  thermom- 
eter, how  to  regulate  innumerable  processes.  That 

48  WHAT   KNOWLrnCE   IS    OF    MOST   WORTH? 

division  -which  lias  the  phenomena  of  light  for  its 
subject,  gives  eyes  to  the  old  and  the  myopic  ;  aids 
through  the  microscope  in  detecting  diseases  and 
adulterations ;  and  \>y  improved  lighthouses  pre= 
vents  shipwrechs.  Kesearchcs  in  electricity  and 
magnetism  have  saved  incalculable  life  and  prop- 
srtj  by  the  compass  ;  have  subserved  sundry  arts  by 
the  electrotype ;  and  now,  in  the  telegraph,  have 
supplied  us  with  the  agency  by  which  for  the  future 
all  mercantile  transactions  will  be  regulated,  politi- 
cal intercourse  carried  on,  and  perhaps  national 
quarrels  often  avoided.  While  in  the  details  of  in- 
door life,  from  the  improved  kitchen-range  up  to 
the  stereoscope  on  the  drawing-room  table,  the  aiv- 
plications  of  advanced  physics  underlie  our  comforts 
and  gratifications. 

Still  more  numerous  are  the  bearings  of  Chem- 
istry on  those  activities  by  which  men  obtain  the 
means  of  living.  The  bleacher,  the  dyer,  the  calico- 
printer,  are  severally  occupied  in  j^rocesses  that  are 
well  or  ill  done  according  as  they  do  or  do  not  con- 
form to  chemical  laws.  The  economical  reduction 
from  their  ores  of  copper,  tin,  zinc,  lead,  silver,  iron, 
are  in  a  great  measure  questions  of  chemistry.  Su- 
gar-refining, gas-making,  soap-boiling,  gunpowder 
manufacture,  are  operations  all  partly  chemical ;  as 
are  also  those  by  which  are  producred  glass  and  por- 
celain. Whether  the  distiller's  wort  stops  at  the 
alcoholic  fermentation  or  passes  into  the  acetous,  is 
a  chemical  question  on  which  hangs  his  profit  or 
loss     and  the  brewer,  if  his  business  is  sufiicientl^ 


large,  finds  it  pay  to  keep  a  eliemist  on  his  premises. 
Glance  tb rough  a  work  on  technology,  and  it  be- 
comes at  once  apparent  that  there  is  now  scarcely 
any  process  in  the  arts  or  manufactures  over  some 
part  of  which  chemistry  does  not  preside.  And 
then,  lastly,  we  come  to  the  fact  that  in  these  times, 
agriculture,  to  be  profitably  earned  on,  must  have 
like  guidance.  The  analysis  of  manures  and  soils  ; 
their  adaptations  to  each  other  ;  the  use  of  gypsum 
or  other  substance  for  fixing  ammonia  ;  the  utiliza- 
tion of  coprolites ;  the  production  of  artificial  ma- 
nures— all  these  are  boons  of  chemistry  which  it 
behoves  the  farmer  to  acquaint  himself  with.  Be 
it  in  the  lucifer  match,  or  in  disinfected  sewage,  or 
in  photographs — in  bread  made  without  fermenta- 
tion, or  perfumes  extracted  from  refuse,  we  may 
perceive  that  chemistry  afiects  all  our  industries ; 
and  that,  by  consequence,  knowledge  of  it  concerns 
every  one  who  is  directly  or  indirectly  connected 
with  our  industries. 

And  then  the  science  of  life — Biology  ;  does  not 
this,  too,  bear  fundamentally  upon  these  processes 
of  indirect  self-preservation  ?  With  what  we  ordi- 
narily call  manufactures,  it  has,  indeed,  little  con- 
nexion ;  but  with  the  all-essential  manufacture — ■ 
that  of  food — it  is  inseparably  connected.  As  agri- 
culture must  conform  its  methods  to  the  phenomena 
of  vegetable  and  animal  life,  it  follows  necessarily 
that  the  science  of  these  phenomena  is  the  rational 
basis  of  agriculture.  Various  biological  truths  have 
indeed  been  empirically  established  and  acted  upon 


by  farmers  while  yet  there  has  been  no  conception 
of  them  as  science :  such  as  that  particular  ma- 
nures are  suited  to  particular  plants  ;  that  crops  of 
certain  kinds  unfit  the  soil  for  other  crops ;  that 
horses  cannot  do  good  work  on  poor  food  ;  that  such 
and  such  diseases  of  cattle  and  sheep  are  caused  by 
such  and  such  conditions.  These,  and  the  every- 
day knowledge  which  the  agriculturist  gains  by  ex^ 
perience  respecting  the  right  management  of  plants 
and  animals,  constitute  his  stock  of  biological  facts  ; 
on  the  largeness  of  which  greatly  depends  his  suc- 
cess. And  as  these  biological  facts,  scanty,  indefi- 
nite, rudimentary,  though  they  are,  aid  him  so  es- 
sentially ;  judge  what  must  be  the  value  to  him  of 
such  facts  when  they  become  positive,  definite,  and 
exhaustive.  Indeed,  even  now  we  may  see  the 
benefits  that  rational  biology  is  conferring  on  him. 
Tlie  truth  that  the  production  of  animal  heat  im- 
plies waste  of  substance,  and  that,  therefore,  pre- 
venting loss  of  heat  prevents  the  need  for  extra 
food — a  purely  theoretical  conclusion — now  guides 
the  fattening  of  cattle  :  it  is  found  that  by  keeping 
cattle  warm,  fodder  is  saved.  Similarly  Avith  re- 
spect to  variety  of  food.  The  experiments  of  phys- 
iologists have  shown  that  not  only  is  change  of  diet 
beneficial,  but  that  digestion  is  facilitated  by  a  mix- 
ture of  ingredients  in  each  meal :  both  which  truths 
are  now  influencing  cattle-feeding.  The  discovery 
that  a  disorder  known  as  "  the  staggers,"  of  which 
many  thousands  of  sheep  have  died  annually,  is 
caused  by  an  entozoon  which  presses  on  the  brain ; 



and  that  if  the  creature  is  extracted  through  the 
softened  place  in  the  skull  which  marks  its  position, 
the  sheep  usually  recovers ;  is  another  debt  which 
agriculture  owes  to  biology.  When  we  observe  tht; 
marked  contrast  between  our  farming  and  farming 
on  the  Continent,  and  remember  that  this  contrast 
is  mainly  due  to  the  far  greater  influence  science 
has  had  upon  farming  here  than  there  ;  and  when 
we  see  how,  daily,  competition  is  making  the  adopx 
tion  of  scientific  methods  more  general  and  neces- 
sary ;  we  shall  rightly  infer  that  very  soon,  agricul- 
tural success  in  England  will  be  impossible  without 
a  competent  knowledge  of  animal  and  vegetable 

Yet  one  more  science  have  we  to  note  as  bear- 
ing directly  on  industrial  success — the  Science  of 
Society.  Without  knowing  it,  men  who  daily  look 
at  the  state  of  the  money-market,  glance  over  prices 
current,  discuss  the  probable  crops  of  corn,  cotton, 
sugar,  wool,  silk,  weigh  the  chances  of  war,  and 
from  all  those  data  decide  on  their  mercantile  oper^ 
ations,  are  students  of  social  science  :  empirical  and 
blundering  students  it  may  be ;  but  still,  students 
who  gain  the  prizes  or  are  plucked  of  their  profits, 
according  as  they  do  or  do  not  reach  the  right  con- 
clusion. Not  only  the  manufacturer  and  the  mer- 
chant must  guide  their  transactions  by  calculations 
of  supply  and  demand,  based  on  numerous  facts^ 
and  tacitly  recognising  sundry  general  principles 
of  social  action  ;  but  even  the  retailer  must  do  the 
like :  his  prosperity  very  greatly  depending  upon 


the  correctness  of  Lis  judgments  respecting  the  fu. 
tiirc  wholesale  ]>ri('es  and  the  future  rates  of  con^ 
sumption.  Manifestly,  all  who  take  part  in  the  en- 
tangled commercial  activities  of  a  community,  are 
vitally  interested  in  understanding  the  laws  accord- 
ing to  which  those  activities  vary. 

Thus,  to  all  such  as  are  occui)ied  in  the  produc- 
tion, exchange,  or  distrihution  of  commodities,  ac- 
cpiaintance  with  science  in  some  of  its  departments, 
is  of  fundamental  importance.  Whoever  is  imme- 
diately or  remotely  implicated  in  any  form  of  indus- 
try (and  few  are  not)  has  a  direct  interest  in  under- 
standing something  of  the  mathematical,  physical, 
and  chemical  properties  of  things  ;  perhaps,  also, 
has  a  direct  interest  in  biology  ;  and  certainly  has 
in  sociology.  Whether  he  does  or  does  not  succeed 
well  in  that  indirect  self-preservation  which  we  call 
getting  a  good  livelihood,  depends  in  a  great  degree 
on  his  knowledge  of  one  or  more  of  these  sciences : 
not,  it  may  be,  a  rational  knowledge  ;  but  still  a 
knowledge,  though  empirical.  For  what  we  call 
learning  a  business,  really  implies  learning  the  sci- 
ence involved  in  it ;  though  not  perhaps  under  the 
name  of  science.  And  hence  a  grounding  in  science 
is  of  great  importance,  both  because  it  prepares  for 
all  this,  and  because  rational  knowledge  has  an  im- 
mense superiority  over  empirical  knowledge.  More- 
over, not  only  is  it  that  scientific  culture  is  requisite 
for  each,  that  he  may  understand  the  Junv  and  the 
w/ii/  of  the  things  and  processes  witli  which  he  is  con- 
cerned as  maker  or  distributor ;  but  it  is  often  of 


much  moment  that  he  should  understand  the  how  and 
the  why  of  various  other  things  and  processes.  In 
this  age  of  joint-stock  undertakings,  nearly  every 
man  above  the  labourer  is  interested  as  capitalist  in 
some  otlier  occupation  than  his  own  ;  and,  as  thus  in- 
terested, his  profit  or  loss  often  depends  on  his  knowl- 
edge of  the  sciences  bearing  on  this  other  occupa- 
tion. Here  is  a  mine,  in  the  sinking  of  which  many 
shareholders  ruined  themselves,  from  not  knowing 
that  a  certain  fossil  belonged  to  the  old  red  sand- 
stone, below  which  no  coal  is  found.  Not  many 
years  ago,  20,000^.  was  lost  in  the  prosecution  of  a 
scheme  for  collecting  the  alcohol  that  distils  from 
bread  in  baking  :  all  which  would  have  been  saved 
to  the  subscribers,  had  they  known  that  less  than  a 
hundredth  part  by  weight  of  the  flour  is  changed  in 
fermentation.  Numerous  attempts  have  been  made 
to  construct  electro-magnetic  engines,  in  the  hope 
of  superseding  steam  ;  but  had  those  who  supplied 
the  money,  understood  the  general  law  of  the  cor- 
relation and  equivalence  of  forces,  they  might 
have  had  better  balances  at  their  bankers.  Daily 
are  men  induced  to  aid  in  carrying  out  inventions 
which  a  mere  tyro  in  science  could  show  to  be  fu- 
tile. Scarcely  a  locality  but  has  its  history  of  for- 
tunes thrown  away  over  some  impossible  project. 

And  if  already  the  loss  from  want  of  science  is 
so  frequent  and  so  great,  still  greater  and  more  fre= 
quent  will  it  be  to  those  who  hereafter  lack  science. 
Just  as  fust  as  productive  processes  become  more 
scientific,  wliich   comj)etition  will   inevitably  maktf 


tliem  do;  and  just  as  fast  as  joint-stock  undertak- 
ings spread,  which  they  certainly  will ;  so  fast  will 
scientific  knowledge  grow  necessary  to  every  one. 

That  which  our  .school  courses  leave  almost  en- 
Urely  out,  we  thus  find  to  be  that  which  most  nearly 
concerns  the  business  of  life.  All  our  industries 
would  cease,  were  it  not  for  that  information  which 
men  begin  to  acquire  as  they  best  may  after  their 
education  is  said  to  be  finished.  And  were  it  not 
for  this  information,  that  has  been  from  age  to  age 
accumulated  and  spread  by  unofiicial  means,  these 
industries  would  never  have  existed.  Had  there 
been  no  teaching  but  such  as  is  given  in  our  public 
schrols,  England  would  now  be  what  it  was  in 
feudal  times.  Tliat  increasing  acquaintance  with 
the  laws  of  phenomena  which  has  through  success- 
ive ages  enabled  us  to  subjugate  Nature  to  our 
needs,  and  in  these  days  gives  the  common  labourer 
comforts  which  a  few  centuries  ago  kings  could  not 
purchase,  is  scarcely  in  any  degree  owed  to  the  ap- 
pointed means  of  instructing  our  youth.  The  vital 
knowledge — that  by  which  we  have  grown  as  a  na- 
tion to  what  we  are,  and  which  now  underlies  our 
whole  existence,  is  a  knowledge  that  has  got  itself 
taught  in  nooks  and  corners  ;  while  the  ordained 

igencies  for  teaching  have  been  mumbling  little 

jlse  but  dead  formulas. 

We  come  now  to  the  third  great  division  of  hu. 
man  activities — a  division  for  which  no  preparation 
whatever  is  made.     If  by  some  strange  chance  not 


a  vestige  of  us  descended  to  the  remote  future  save 
a  pile  of  our  school-books  or  "some  college  examina- 
tion papers,  we  may  imagine  how  puzzled  an  anti-^ 
quary  of  the  period  would  be  on  finding  in  them  nO) 
indication  that  the  learners  were  ever  likely  to  be 
parents.  "  This  must  have  been  the  curriculum  for 
their  celibates,"  we  may  fancy  him  concluding. 
"  1  perceive  here  an  elaborate  preparation  for  many 
things  :  especially  for  reading  the  books  of  extinct 
nations  and  of  co-existing  nations  (from  which  in- 
deed it  seems  clear  that  these  people  had  very  little 
worth  reading  in  then*  own  tongue)  ;  but  I  find  no 
reference  whatever  to  the  bringing  up  of  children. 
They  could  not  have  been  so  absurd  as  to  omit  all 
training  for  this  gravest  of  responsibilities.  Evi- 
dently then,  this  was  the  school  course  of  one  of 
their  monastic  orders." 

Seriously,  is  it  not  an  astonishing  fact,  that 
though  on  the  treatment  of  oflfspring  depend  their 
lives  or  deaths,  and  their  moral  welfare  or  ruin  ; 
yet  not  one  word  of  instruction  on  the  treatment  of 
offspring  is  ever  given  to  those  who  will  hereafter 
be  parents  ?  Is  it  not  monstrous  that  the  fate  of  a 
new  generation  should  be  left  to  the  chances  of  im- 
reasoning  custom,  impulse,  fancy — ;joined  with  the 
suggestions  of  ignorant  nurses  and  the  prejudiced 
counsel  of  grandmothers  ?  If  a  merchant  com° 
menced  business  without  any  knowledge  of  aritho 
metic  and  book-keeping,  we  should  exclaim  at  his 
folly,  and  look  for  disastrous  consequences.  Or  if, 
before  studying  anatomy,  a  man  set  up  as  a  surgi- 


cal  operator,  m'c  slioiild  wonder  at  his  audacity  and 
pity  his  patients.  But  tliat  parents  slioukl  begin 
the  dithcnlt  task  of  rearing  eliildren  witliont  ever 
having  given  a  thought  to  the  principles — physical, 
moral,  or  intellectual — which  ought  to  guide  them, 
excites  neither  sur2>rise  at  the  actors  nor  pity  for 
their  victims. 

To  tens  of  thousands  that  are  killed,  add  hun- 
dreds of  thousands  that  survive  with  feeble  consti- 
tutions, and  millions  that  grow  up  with  constitu- 
tions not  so  strong  as  they  should  be ;  and  you  will 
have  some  idea  of  the  curse  inflicted  on  their  oft- 
spring  by  parents  ignorant  of  the  laws  of  life.  Do 
but  consider  for  a  moment  that  the  regimen  to 
which  children  are  subject  is  hourly  telling  upon 
them  to  their  life-long  injury  or  beneflt ;  and  that 
there  are  twenty  ways  of  going  wrong  to  one  way 
of  going  right ;  and  you  will  get  some  idea  of  the 
enormous  mischief  that  is  almost  everywhere  inflict- 
ed by  the  thoughtless,  haphazard  system  in  com- 
mon use.  Is  it  decided  that  a  boy  shall  be  clothed 
in  some  flimsy  short  dress,  and  be  allowed  to  go 
playing  about  with  limbs  reddened  by  cold  ?  Tlie 
decision  will  tell  on  his  whole  future  existence — ■ 
either  in  illnesses  ;  or  in  stunted  growth  ;  or  in  de- 
ficient energy  ;  or  in  a  maturity  less  vigorous  than  it 
ought  to  have  been,  and  consequent  hindi-ances  to  suc- 
cess and  happiness.  Are  children  doomed  to  a  monot 
onous  dietary,  or  a  dietary  that  is  deficient  in  nutri- 
tiveness  ?  Tlieir  ultimate  physical  power  and  their 
efficiency  as  men  and  women,  will  inevitably  be 


rr.ore  or  less  diminished  by  it.  Are  they  forbidden 
vociferons  play,  or  (being  too  ill-clothed  to  bear  ex- 
posure), are  they  kept  in-doors  in  cold  weather  1 
They  are  certain  to  fall  below  that  measure  of  health 
and  strength  to  wliicli  they  would  else  have  attain- 
ed. When  sons  and  daughters  grow  up  sickly  and 
feeble,  parents  commonly  regard  the  event  as  a 
misfortune — as  a  visitation  of  Providence.  Tliink- 
ing  after  the  prevalent  chaotic  fashion,  they  assume 
that  these  evils  come  without  causes  ;  or  that  tlie 
causes  are  supernatural.  Nothing  of  the  kind.  In 
some  cases  the  causes  are  doubtless  inherited  ;  but 
in  most  cases  foolish  regulations  are  the  causes. 
Yery  generally  parents  themselves  are  responsible 
for  all  this  pain,  this  debility,  this  depression,  this 
misery.  They  have  undertaken  to  control  the  lives 
of  their  otfspring  from  hour  to  hour ;  with  cruel 
carelessness  they  have  neglected  to  learn  anything 
about  these  vital  processes  which  they  are  unceas- 
ingly affecting  by  their  commands  and  prohibitions ; 
in  utter  ignorance  of  the  simplest  physiologic  laws, 
they  have  been  year  by  year  undermining  the  con- 
stitutions of  their  children  ;  and  have  so  inflicted 
disease  and  premature  death,  not  only  on  them  but 
on  their  descendants. 

Equally  great  are  the  ignorance  and  the  conse- 
quent injury,  when  we  turn  from  physical  training 
to  moral  training.  Consider  the  young  mother  and 
her  nursery  legislation.  But  a  few  years  ago  she 
tt^as  at  school,  where  her  memory  was  crammed 
with  words,  and  names,  and  dates,  and  her  reflect' 


ivo  faculties  scarcely  in  the  sli^jhtest  degree  exc^ 
cised — where  not  one  idea  was  given  her  respecting 
the  methods  of  dealing  witli  the  opening  mind  of 
childhood  ;  and  where  her  discipline  did  not  in  the 
Seast  fit  her  for  thinking  ont  methods  of  her  own. 
The  intervening  years  have  been  passed  in  practis- 
ing music,  in  fancy-work,  in  novel-reading,  and  in 
party-going :  no  thought  having  yet  been  given  to 
the  grave  responsibilities  of  maternity  ;  and  scarcely 
any  of  that  solid  intellectual  culture  obtained  which 
would  be  some  preparation  for  such  responsibilities. 
And  now  see  her  with  an  unfolding  human  charac- 
ter committed  to  her  charge — see  her  profoundly 
ignorant  of  the  phenomena  with  which  she  has  to 
deal,  undertaking  to  do  that  which  can  be  done  but 
imperfectly  even  with  the  aid  of  the  profoundest 
knowledge.  She  knows  nothing  about  the  nature 
of  the  emotions,  their  order  of  evolution,  their  func- 
tions, or  where  use  ends  and  abuse  begins.  She  is 
under  the  impression  that  some  of  the  feelings  are 
wholly  bad,  which  is  not  true  of  any  one  of  them  ; 
and  that  others  are  good,  however  far  they  may  be 
carried,  which  is  also  not  true  of  any  one  of  them. 
And  then,  ignorant  as  she  is  of  that  with  which  she 
has  to  deal,  she  is  equally  ignorant  of  the  effects 
that  will  be  produced  on  it  by  this  or  that  treat- 
ment. What  can  be  more  inevitable  than  the  dis- 
astrous results  we  see  hourly  arising  ?  Lacking 
knowledge  of  mental  phenomena,  with  their  causes 
and  consequences,  her  interference  is  frequently 
more  mischievous  than   absolute  passivity  would 


have  been.  This  and  that  kind  of  action,  wliich 
are  quite  normal  and  beneficial,  she  perpetually 
thwarts ;  and  so  diminishes  the  child's  happiness 
and  profit,  injures  its  temper  and  her  own,  and 
produces  estrangement.  Deeds  which  she  thinks 
it  desirable  to  encourage,  she  gets  performed  by 
threats  and  bribes,  or  by  exciting  a  desire  for  ap- 
plause :  considering  little  what  the  inward  motive 
may  be,  so  long  as  the  outward  conduct  conforms  ; 
and  thus  cultivating  liypocrisy,  and  fear,  and  self- 
ishness, in  place  of  good  feeling.  While  insisting 
on  truthfulness,  she  constantly  sets  an  example  of 
untruth,  by  threatening  penalties  which  she  does 
not  inflict.  While  inculcating  self-control,  she  hour- 
ly visits  on  lier  little  ones  angry  scoldings  for  acts 
that  do  not  call  for  them.  She  has  not  the  re- 
motest idea  that  in  the  nursery,  as  in  the  world, 
that  alone  is  the  truly  salutary  discipline  which 
visits  on  all  conduct,  good  and  bad,  the  natural 
consequences  —  the  consequences,  pleasurable  or 
painful,  which  in  the  nature  of  things  such  conduct 
tends  to  bring.  Being  thus  without  theoretic  guid- 
ance, and  quite  incapable  of  guiding  herself  by 
tracing  the  mental  processes  going  on  in  her  chil- 
dren, her  rule  is  impulsive,  inconsistent,  mischiev- 
ous, often,  in  the  highest  degree  ;  and  would  indeed 
be  generally  ruinous,  were  it  not  that  the  over- 
whelming tendency  of  the  growing  mind  to  assume 
the  moral  type  of  the  race,  usually  subordinates  all 
minor  influences. 

And  then  the  culture  of  the  intellect — is  not 

60  WHAT   KNOWLEDGE   IS    OF   MOST   WOU'lll? 

this,  too,  mismanaged  in  a  similar  manner  ?  Grant 
tliat  the  phenomena  of  intelligence  conform  to 
laws  ;  grant  that  the  evolntion  of  intelligence  in  r. 
child  also  conforms  to  laws  ;  and  it  follows  inevita- 
'bly  that  education  can  be  rightly  guided  only  by  a 
knowledge  of  these  laws.  To  sup])ose  that  yon  can 
properly  regulate  this  process  of  forming  and  accu- 
mulating ideas,  without  understanding  the  nature 
of  the  process,  is  absurd.  How  widely,  then,  must 
teaching  as  it  is,  ditfer  from  teaching  as  it  should 
be  ;  when  hardly  any  parents,  and  but  few  teachers, 
know  anything  about  psychology.  As  might  be 
expected,  the  system  is  grievously  at  fault,  alike  in 
matter  and  in  manner.  While  the  right  class  of 
facts  is  withheld,  the  wrong  class  is  forcibly  admin- 
istered in  the  wrong  way  and  in  the  wrong  order. 
With  that  common  limited  idea  of  education  which 
confines  it  to  knowledge  gained  from  books,  parents 
thnist  primers  into  the  hands  of  their  little  ones 
years  too  soon,  to  their  great  injury.  Not  recog- 
nising the  truth  that  the  function  of  books  is  sup- 
plementary— that  they  form  an  indirect  means  to 
knowledge  when  direct  means  fail — a  means  of  see- 
ing through  other  men  what  you  cannot  see  for 
yourself ;  they  are  eager  to  give  second-hand  facts 
in  place  of  first-hand  facts.  Not  perceiving  the 
enonnous  value  of  that  spontaneous  education 
which  goes  on  in  early  years — not  perceiving  that 
a  child's  restless  observation,  instead  of  being  ig- 
nored or  checked,  should  be  diligently  administered 
to,  and  made  as  accurate  and  complete  as  possible ; 


tlicy  insist  on  occupying  its  eyes  and  thoughts  with 
things  that  are,  for  the  time  being,  incomprehensi- 
ble and  repugnant.  Possessed  by  a  superstition 
wliieh  worships  the  symbols  of  knowledge  instead 
of  the  knowledge  itself,  tliey  do  not  see  that  only 
when  his  acquaintance  with  the  objects  and  processes 
of  the  household,  the  streets,  and  the  fields,  is  be- 
coming tolerably  exhaustive — only  then  should  a 
(•hild  be  introduced  to  the  new  sources  of  informa- 
tion which  books  supply  :  and  this,  not  only  because 
immediate  cognition  is  of  far  greater  value  than 
mediate  cognition ;  but  also,  because  the  words 
contained  in  books  can  be  rightly  interpreted  into 
ideas,  only  in  proportion  to  the  antecedent  experi- 
ence of  things..  Observe  next,  that  this  formal  in- 
struction, far  too  soon  commenced,  is  carried  on  with 
but  little  reference  to  the  laws  of  mental  develop- 
ment. Intellectual  progress  is  of  necessity  from  the 
concrete  to  the  abstract.  But  regardless  of  this, 
liighly  abstract  subjects,  such  as  grammar,  which 
should  come  quite  late,  are  begun  quite  earl}".  Po' 
litieal  geography,  dead  and  uninteresting  to  a  child, 
and  which  should  be  an  appendage  of  sociological 
studies,  is  commenced  betimes  ;  while  physical  ge^ 
ography,  comprehensible  and  comparatively  attract- 
ive to  a  child,  is  in  great  part  passed  over,  Nearly 
every  subject  dealt  with  is  arranged  in  abnoi-mal 
order :  definitions,  and  rules,  and  principles  being 
put  first,  instead  of  being  disclosed,  as  they  are  in 
the  order  of  nature,  through  the  study  of  cases. 
And  then,  pervading  the  whole,  is  the  vicious  sya 


tern  of  rote  learning — a  system  of  sacrificing  the 
spirit  to  the  letter.  See  the  results.  What  with 
perceptions  unnaturally  dulled  hy  early  thwarting, 
and  a  coerced  attention  to  books — what  with  the 
mental  confusion  produced  by  teaching  subjects  be- 
fore they  can  be  understood,  and  in  each  of  them 
srivinir  creneralizations  before  the  facts  of  which 
these  are  the  generalizations — what  with  making  the 
pupil  a  mere  passive  recipient  of  other's  ideas,  and 
not  in  the  least  leading  him  to  be  an  active  inquirer 
or  self-instructor — and  what  with  taxing  the  facul- 
ties to  excess ;  there  are  very  few  minds  that  be- 
come as  efficient  as  they  might  be.  Examinations 
being  once  passed,  books  are  laid  aside  ;  the  greater 
part  of  what  has  been  acquired,  being  unorganized, 
soon  drops  out  of  recollection ;  what  remains  is 
mostly  inert — the  art  of  applying  knowledge  not 
having  been  cultivated ;  and  there  is  but  little 
power  either  of  accurate  observation  or  independent 
thinking.  To  all  which  add,  that  while  much  of 
the  information  gained  is  of  relatively  small  value, 
an  immense  mass  of  information  of  transcendent 
value  is  entirely  passed  over. 

Thus  we  find  the  facts  to  be  such  as  might  have 
been  inferred  r)  /moi'i.  The  training  of  children — 
l)hysical,  moral,  and  intellectual — is  dreadfully  de- 
fective. And  in  great  measure  it  is  so,  because 
parents  are  devoid  of  that  knowledge  by  which  this 
training  can  alone  be  rightly  guided.  What  is  to  be 
expected  when  one  of  the  most  intricate  of  i)roblems 
is  undertaken  by  those  who  have  given  scarcely  a 


tliouglit  to  the  principles  on  which  its  sohition 
depends  ?  For  shoe-making  or  house-building,  for 
the  management  of  a  ship  or  a  locomotive-enginCj, 
a  long  apprenticeship  is  needful.  Is  it,  then,  that 
the  unfolding  of  a  human  being  in  body  and  mind, 
is  so  comparatively  simple  a  process,  that  any  one 
may  superintend  and  regulate  it  with  no  prepara- 
tion whatever  ?  If  not — if  the  process  is  with  one 
exception  more  complex  than  any  in  Xature,  and. 
the  task  of  administering  to  it  one  of  surpassing 
difficulty  ;  is  it  not  madness  to  make  no  provision 
for  such  a  task  ?  Better  sacrifice  accomplishments 
than  omit  this  all-essential  instruction.  When 
a  father,  acting  on  false  dogmas  adopted,  with- 
out examination,  has  alienated  his  sons,  driven  them 
into  rebellion  by  his  harsh  treatment,  ruined  them, 
and  made  himself  miserable  ;  he  might  reflect  that 
the  study  of  Ethology  would  have  been  worth  pur- 
suing, even  at  the  cost  of  knowing  nothing  about 
^schylus.  When  a  mother  is  mourning  over  a 
first-born  that  has  sunk  under  the  sequelse  of  scarlet- 
fever — when  perhaps  9,  candid  medical  man  has 
confirmed  her  suspicion  that  her  child  would  have 
recovered  had  not  its  system  been  enfeebled  by 
over-study — when  she  is  prostrate  under  the  pangs 
of  combined  grief  and  remorse;  it  is  but  a  small 
consolation  that  she  can  read  Dante  in  the  originaL 
Thus  we  see  that  for  regulating  the  third  great 
division  of  human  activities,  a  knowledge  of  the 
laws  of  life  is  the  one  thing  needful.  Some  ac- 
quaintance with  the  first  principles  of  physiology 

6-i  "WHAT   KNOWLEDGE   IS    OF   MOST   WORTH  ? 

and  tlie  elementary  tniths  of  psychology  is  indis 
peiisable  for  the  right  bringing  n])  of  cliildren.  We 
doubt  not  that  this  assertion  -will  by  many  be  read 
with  a  smile.  Tliat  parents  in  general  should  be 
3xpected  to  acquire  a  hnowledge  of  subjects  so 
abstruse,  "will  seem  to  them  an  absurdity.  And  if 
we  proposed  that  an  exhaustiye  knowledge  of  these 
subjects  should  be  obtained  by  all  fathers  and 
mothers,  the  absurdity  would  indeed  be  glaring 
enough.  But  we  do  not.  General  principles  only, 
accompanied  by  such  detailed  illustrations  as  may 
be  needed  to  make  them  understood,  would  suffice. 
And  these  might  be  readily  taught — if  not  ration- 
ally, then  dogmatically.  Be  this  as  it  may,  how- 
eyer,  here  are  the  indisputable  facts : — that  the 
development  of  children  in  mind  and  body  rigor- 
ously obeys  certain  laws  ;  that  nnless  these  laws  are 
in  some  degree  conformed  to  by  parents,  death  is 
inevitable ;  that  unless  they  are  in  a  great  degree 
conformed  to,  there  must  result  serious  physical  and 
mental  defects  ;  and  that  only  when  they  are  com- 
pletely conformed  to,  can  a  perfect  maturity  be 
reached.  Judge,  then,  whether  all  who  may  one 
day  be  parents,  should  not  strive  w^th  some  anxiety 
to  learn  what  these  laws  are. 

From  the  parental  functions  let  us  pass  now  to 
the  functions  of  the  citizen.  "We  have  here  to  in- 
quire what  knowledge  best  fits  a  man  for  the  dis- 
3hargn  of  these  functions.  It  cannot  be  alleged, 
ii3  in  the  last  case,  that  the  need  for  knowledge 


fitting  him  for  these  functions  is  wholly  overlooked ; 
for  our  school  courses  contain  certain  studies  which, 
nominally  at  least,  bear  upon  political  and  social 
duties.  Of  these  the  only  one  that  occupies  a 
prominent  place  is  History. 

But,  as  already  more  than  once  hinted,  the  his- 
toric information  commonly  gi^'en  is  almost  value- 
less for  purposes  of  guidance.  Scarcely  any  of  the 
facts  set  down  in  our  school-histories,  and  very  few 
even  of  those  contained  in  the  more  elaborate  works 
written  for  adults,  give  any  clue  to  the  right  prin- 
ciples of  political  action.  Tlie  biographies  of 
monarchs  (and  our  children  commonly  learn  little 
else)  throw  scarcely  any  light  upon  the  science  of 
society.  Familiarity  with  court  intrigues,  plots, 
usurpations,  or  the  like,  and  with  all  the  personali- 
ties accompanying  them,  aids  very  little  in  eluci- 
dating the  principles  on  which  national  welfare 
depends.  We  read  of  some  squabble  for  power, 
that  it  led  to  a  pitched  battle  ;  that  such  and  such 
were  the  names  of  the  generals  and  their  leading 
subordinates  ;  that  they  had  each  so  many  thousand 
infantry  and  cavalry,  and  so  many  cannon  ;  that 
they  arranged  their  forces  in  this  and  that  order ; 
that  they  manoeuvred,  attacked,  and  fell  back  in 
certain  ways  :  that  at  this  part  of  the  day  such  dis- 
asters were  sustained,  and  at  that  such  advantage£ 
gained ;  that  in  one  particular  movement  some 
leading  officer  fell,  while  in  another  a  certain  regi- 
ment was  decimated  ;  that  after  all  the  changing 
fortunes  of  the  fight,  the  victory  was  gained  by  this 

66  WHAT    KN'OWLEDGE    15    OF   MOST   WORTH  ? 

or  that  army ;  and  that  so  many  were  killed  and 
wonnded  on  each  side,  and  so  many  captured  by 
the  conqnerors.  And  now.  out  of  the  accumulated 
details  which  make  up  the  narratire,  say  wliich  it 
Is  that  helps  you  in  deciding  on  your  conduct  as  a 
citizen.  Supposing  even  that  you  had  diligently 
read,  not  only  "  The  Fifteen  Decisive  Battles  of  the 
World,''  but  accounts  of  all  other  battles  that  his- 
tory mentions :  how  much  more  judicious  would 
your  vote  be  at  the  next  election  i  *•  But  these  are 
facts — interesting  facts,"  you  say.  Without  dotibt 
they  are  facts  ^such.  at  least,  as  are  not  wholly  or 
partially  fictions) ;  and  to  many  they  may  be  inter- 
esting facts.  But  this  by  no  means  implies  that 
they  are  valuable.  Factitious  or  morbid  opinion 
often  gives  seeminor  value  to  things  that  have 
scarcely  any.  A  tulipomaniac  will  not  part  with  a 
choice  bulb  for  its  weight  in  gold.  To  another  man 
an  ugly  piece  of  cracked  old  china  seems  his  most 
desirable  possession.  And  there  are  those  who 
give  high  prices  for  the  relics  of  celebrated  mur- 
derers. Will  it  be  contended  that  these  tastes  are 
any  measures  of  value  in  the  things  that  gratify 
them  i  If  not.  then  it  must  be  admitted  that  the 
liking  felt  for  certain  classes  of  historical  facts  is 
no  proof  of  their  worth  ;  and  that  we  must  test  their 
worth  as  we  test  the  worth  of  other  facts,  by  asking 
to  what  uses  they  are  applicable.  Were  some  one 
to  tell  you  that  your  neighbours  cat  kittened  yes- 
terday, you  would  say  the  information  was  worth- 
less.    Fact  though  it  might  be.  you  wculd  say  it 


was  an  utterly  iiseless  fact — a  fact  that  could  in  no 
way  influence  your  actions  in  life — a  fact  that  would 
not  help  you  in  learning  how  to  live  completely. 
Well,  apply  the  same  test  to  the  great  mass  of  his« 
torical  facts,  and  you  will  get  the  same  resulto 
They  are  facts  from  which  no  conclusions  can  be 
drawn — unorganizahle  facts  ;  and  therefore  facts 
which  can  be  of  no  service  in  establishing  principles 
of  conduct,  which  is  the  chief  use  of  facts.  Kead 
them,  if  you  like,  for  amusement ;  but  do  not  flatter 
yourself  they  are  instructive. 

That  which  constitutes  History,  properly  so 
called,  is  in  great  part  omitted  from  works  on  the 
subject.  Only  of  late  years  have  historians  com- 
menced giving  us,  in  any  considerable  quantity,  the 
truly  valuable  information.  As  in  past  ages  the 
king  was  every  thing  and  the  people  nothing ;  so, 
in  past  histories  the  doings  of  the  king  fill  the  entire 
picture,  to  which  the  national  life  forms  but  an  ob- 
scure background.  While  only  now,  when  the 
welfare  of  nations  rather  than  of  rulers  is  becoming 
the  dominant  idea,  are  historians  beginning  to  oc- 
cupy themselves  with  the  phenomena  of  social 
progress.  That  which  it  really  concerns  us  to 
know,  is  the  natural  history  of  society.  We  want 
all  facts  which  help  us  to  understand  how  a  nation 
has  grown  and  organized  itself.  Among  these,  let 
us  of  course  have  an  account  of  its  government  l 
with  as  little  as  may  be  of  gossip  about  the  men 
who  officered  it,  and  as  much  as  possible  about  the 
structure,  principles,  methods,  prejudices,  corrup- 

68  AVIIAT    KNOWLEDGE    IS    OF   MOST    WOKJll? 

tions,  (fee,  wliicli  it  exhibited  :  aiul  let  tliis  account 
not  only  include  the  nature  and  actions  of  the  cen- 
tral government,  but  also  those  of  local  governments, 
down  to  their  minutest  ramifications.  Let  us  of 
course  also  have  a  parallel  description  of  the  eccle- 
siastical government — its  organization,  its  conduct, 
its  power,  its  relations  to  the  State  :  and  accompany- 
ing this,  the  ceremonial,  creed,  and  religious  ideas 
— not  only  those  nominally  believed,  but  those 
really  believed  and  acted  upon.  Let  us  at  the  same 
time  be  informed  of  the  control  exercised  by  class 
over  class,  as  displayed  in  all  social  observances — 
in  titles,  salutations,  and  forms  of  address.  Let  us 
know,  too,  what  were  all  the  other  customs  which 
regulated  the  popular  life  out  of  doors  and  in-doors : 
including  those  which  concern  the  relations  of  the 
sexes,  and  the  relations  of  parents  to  children.  Tlie 
superstitions,  also,  from  the  more  important  myths 
down  to  the  charms  in  common  use,  should  be  in- 
dicated. Next  should  come  a  delineation  of  the 
industrial  system  :  showing  to  what  extent  the  divi- 
sion of  labour  was  carried  ;  how  trades  were  regu- 
lated, "whether  by  caste,  guilds,  or  otherwise  ;  what 
was  the  connection  between  employers  and  em- 
ployed ;  what  were  the  agencies  for  distributing 
commodities,  what  were  the  means  of  communica- 
tion ;  w4iat  was  the  circulating  medium.  Accom- 
panying all  which  should  come  an  account  of  the 
industrial  arts  technically  considered  :  stating  th«? 
processes  in  use,  and  the  quality  of  the  })rodu('ts. 
Further,  the  intellectual  condition  of  the  nation  in 


its  various  grades  should  be  depicted  :  not  only 
with  respect  to  the  kind  and  amount  of  education, 
but  with  respect  to  the  progress  made  in  science, 
and  the  prevailing  manner  of  thinking.  The  degree 
of  aesthetic  culture,  as  displayed  in  architecture, 
sculpture,  painting,  dress,  music,  poetry,  and  fic- 
tion, should  be  described.  Nor  should  there  be 
omitted  a  sketch  of  the  daily  lives  of  the  people — • 
their  food,  their  homes,  and  their  amusements. 
And  lastly,  to  connect  the  whole,  should  be  ex- 
hibited the  morals,  theoretical  and  practical,  of  all 
classes  :  as  indicated  in  their  laws,  habits,  proverbs, 
deeds.  All  these  facts,  given  with  as  much  brevity 
as  consists  with  clearness  and  accuracy,  should  be 
so  grouped  and  arranged  that  they  may  be  compre- 
hended in  their  ensemhle  /  and  thus  may  be  con- 
templated as  mutually  dependent  parts  of  one  great 
whole.  The  aim  should  be  so  to  present  them  that 
we  may  readily  trace  the  consensus  subsisting  among 
them  ;  with  the  view  of  learning  what  social  phe- 
nomena co-exist  with  what  others.  And  then  the 
corresponding  delineations  of  succeeding  ages  should 
be  so  managed  as  to  show  us,  as  clearly  as  may  be, 
how  each  belief,  institution,  custom,  and  arrange- 
ment was  modified  ;  and  how  the  consensus  of 
preceding  structures  and  functions  was  developed 
into  the  consensus  of  succeeding  ones.  Such  alone 
is  the  kind  of  information  respecting  past  times, 
which  can  be  of  service  to  the  citizen  for  the  regu- 
lation of  his  conduct.  The  only  history  that  is  of 
practical  value,  is  what  may  be  called  Descriptive 


Sociologj.  And  the  liigliest  office  wLich  tlie  his- 
torian  can  discharge,  is  that  of  so  narrating  the 
lives  of  nations,  as  to  furnish  materials  for  a  Com' 
parative  Sociok\gy ;  and  for  tlie  subsequent  deter- 
mination of  the  ultimate  laws  to  M'hich  social  ])lie- 
nomena  conform. 

But  now  mark,  that  even  supposing  an  adequate 
stock  of  this  truly  valuable  historical  knowledge 
has  l)een  acquired,  it  is  of  comparatively  little  use 
witliout  the  key.  And  the  key  is  to  be  found  only 
in  Science.  Without  an  acquaintance  with  the 
general  truths  of  biology  and  psychology,  rational 
interpretation  of  social  phenomena  is  impossible. 
Only  in  proportion  as  men  obtain  a  certain  rude, 
empirical  knowledge  of  human  nature,  are  they 
enabled  to  understand  even  tlie  simplest  facts  of 
social  life :  as,  for  instance,  the  relation  between 
supply  and  demand.  And  if  not  even  the  most 
elementary  truths  of  sociology  can  be  reached  until 
some  knowledge  is  obtained  of  how  men  generally 
think,  feel,  and  act  under  given  circumstances ; 
then  it  is  manifest  that  there  can  be  nothing  like  a 
wide  comprehension  of  sociology,  unless  through  a 
competent  knowledge  of  man  hi  all  his  faculties, 
bodily  and  mental.  Consider  the  matter  in  the  ab- 
stract, and  this  conclusion  is  self-evident.  Thus : — 
Society  is  made  up  of  individuals  ;  all  that  is  done 
in  society  is  done  by  the  combined  actions  of  indi- 
viduals ;  and  therefore,  in  individual  actions  only 
can  be  found  the  solutions  of  social  phenomena. 
But  the  actions  of  individuals  depend  on  the  laws 


of  their  natures  ;  and  their  actions  cannot  be  under- 
stood until  these  laws  are  understood.  These  laws, 
however,  when  reduced  to  their  simplest  expres- 
sion, are  found  to  depend  on  the  laws  of  body  and 
mind  in  general.  Hence  it  necessarily  follows,  that 
biology  and  psychology  are  indispensable  as  inter- 
preters of  sociology.  Or,  to  state  the  conclusions 
still  more  simply  : — all  social  phenomena  are  phe- 
nomena of  life — are  the  most  complex  manifesta- 
tions of  life — are  ultimately  dependent  on  the  laws 
of  life — and  can  be  understood  only  when  the  laws 
of  life  are  understood.  Thus,  then,  we  see  that  for 
the  regulation  of  this  fourth  division  of  human  ac- 
tivities, we  are,  as  before,  dependent  on  Science. 
Of  the  knowledge  commonly  imparted  in  educa- 
tional courses,  very  little  is  of  any  service  in  guiding 
a  man  in  his  conduct  as  a  citizen.  Only  a  small 
part  of  the  history  he  reads  is  of  practical  value  ; 
and  of  this  small  part  he  is  not  prepared  to  make 
proper  use.  He  commonly  lacks  not  only  the 
materials  for,  but  the  very  conception  of,  descriptive 
sociology  ;  and  he  also  lacks  that  kiiowledge  of  the 
organic  sciences,  without  which  even  descriptive 
sociology  can  give  him  but  little  aid. 

And  now  we  come  to  that  remaining  division  of 
human  life  which  includes  the  relaxations,  pleasures, 
and  amusements  filling  leisure  hours.  After  con- 
sidering what  training  best  fits  for  self-preservation, 
for  the  obtainment  of  sustenance,  for  the  discharge 
of  parental  duties,  and  for  the  regulation  of  social 


and  political  conduct ;  we  have  now  to  consider 
what  training  Lest  tits  for  the  miscellaneous  ends 
not  included  in  these — for  the  enjoyments  of  Xature, 
of  Literature,  and  of  the  Fine  Arts,  in  all  their 
forms.  Postponing  them  as  we  do  to  things  that  Lear 
more  vitally  upon  human  welfare ;  and  Li'inging 
everything,  as  we  have,  to  the  test  of  actual  value  ; 
it  will  perhaps  Le  inferred  that  we  are  inclined  to 
slight  these  less  essential  things.  I^o  greater  mis- 
take could  Le  made,  however.  We  yield  to  none 
in  the  value  we  attach  to  aesthetic  culture  and  its 
pleasures.  Without  painting,  sculpture,  music, 
poetry,  and  the  emotions  produced  Ly  natural 
Leauty  of  every  kind,  life  would  lose  half  its  charm. 
So  far  from  thinking  that  the  training  and  gratifica- 
tion of  the  tastes  are  unimportant,  we  Lelieve  the 
time  will  come  when  they  will  occuj)y  a  much 
larger  share  of  human  life  than  now.  When  the 
forces  of  Kature  liaveLeen  fully  conquered  toman's 
use — when  the  means  of  pi'oduction  have  Leen 
Lrought  to  perfection — when  hiLour  has  Leen  econ- 
omized to  the  highest  degree — when  education  has 
been  so  systematized  that  a  preparation  for  the  more 
essential  activities  may  Le  made  with  comparative 
rapidity — and  when,  consequently,  there  is  a  great 
increase  of  spare  time  ;  then  will  the  poetry,  Loth 
of  Art  and  Nature,  rightly  fill  a  large  space  in  the 
jninds  of  all. 

But  it  is  one  thing  to  admit  that  aesthetic  cul- 
ture is  in  a  high  degree  conducive  to  human  hap- 
piness ;  and  another  thing  to  admit  that  it  is  a 

KANK    OF    ESTHETIC    CULT.  KE.  73 

fundamental  requisite  to  human  happiness.  How- 
ever important  it  may  be,  it  must  yield  precedence 
to  those  kinds  of  culture  which  bear  more  directly 
upon  the  duties  of  life.  As  before  hinted,  literature 
and  the  fine  arts  are  made  possible  by  those  activi- 
ties which  make  individual  and  social  life  possible ; 
and  manifestly,  that  which  is  made  possible,  must 
be  postponed  to  that  which  makes  it  possible.  A 
florist  cultivates  a  plant  for  the  sake  of  its  flower  ; 
and  regards  the  roots  and  leaves  as  of  value,  cliiefly 
because  they  are  instrumental  in  producing  the 
flower.  But  while,  as  an  ultimate  product,  the 
flower  is  the  thinor  to  which  evervtliing;  else  is 
subordinate,  the  florist  very  well  knows  that  the 
root  and  leaves  are  inti'insically  of  greater  impor- 
tance ;  because  on  them  the  evolution  of  the  flower 
depends.  He  bestows  every  care  in  rearing  a  healthy 
plant ;  and  knows  it  would  be  folly  if,  in  his  anx- 
iety to  obtain  the  flower,  he  were  to  neglect  the 
plant.  Similarly  in  the  case  before  us.  Architec- 
ture, sculpture,  painting,  music,  poetry,  &c.,  may 
be  truly  called  the  efliorescence  of  civilized  life. 
But  even  supposing  them  to  be  of  such  transcendent 
worth  as  to  subordinate  the  civilized  life  out  of  which 
they  grow  (which  can  hardly  be  asserted),  it  will 
still  be  admitted  that  the  production  of  a  healthy 
civilized  life  must  be  the  first  consideration  ;  and 
that  the  knowledge  conducing  to  this  must  occupy 
the  highest  place. 

And  here  we  see  most  distinctly  the  vice  of  our 
educational  system.     It  neglects  the  plaftt  for  the 


sake  of  the  flower.  In  anxiety  for  elegance,  it  for- 
gets substance.  While  it  gives  no  knowledge  con- 
ducive to  self-preservation — while  of  knowledge 
that  facilitates  gaining  a  livelihood  it  gives  but  the 
rudiments,  and  leaves  the  greater  part  to  be  picked 
up  any  how  in  after  life — while  for  the  discharge 
of  parental  functions  it  makes  not  the  slightest  pro- 
rision — and  while  for  the  duties  of  citizenship  it 
prepares  by  imparting  a  mass  of  facts,  most  of 
which  are  irrelevant,  and  the  rest  without  a  key  ; 
it  is  diligent  in  teaching  every  tking  that  adds  to 
refinement,  polish,  dclat.  However  fully  we  may 
admit  that  extensive  acquaintance  with  modern 
languages  is  a  valuable  accomplishment,  which, 
through  reading,  conversation,  and  travel,  aids  in 
giving  a  certain  finish  ;  it  by  no  means  follows  that 
this  result  is  rightly  purchased  at  the  cost  of  that 
vitally  important  knowledge  sacrificed  to  it.  Sup- 
posing it  true  that  classical  education  conduces  to 
elegance  and  correctness  of  style  ;  it  cannot  be  said 
that  elegance  and  correctness  of  style  are  com- 
parable in  importance  to  a  familiarity  with  the 
principles  that  should  guide  the  rearing  of  children. 
Grant  that  the  taste  may  be  greatly  improved  by 
reading  all  the  poetry  written  in  extinct  languages ; 
yet  it  is  not  to  be  inferred  that  such  improvement 
of  taste  is  equivalent  in  value  to  an  acquaintance 
with  the  laws  of  health.  xYccomplishments,  the  fine 
arts,  helles-lettres^  and  all  those  things  which,  as  wo, 
Bay,  constitute  tlie  efflorescence  of  civilization, 
Bhould  be  wholly  subordinate  to  that  knowledge 


and  discipline  in  wliicli  civilization  rests.  As  they 
occupy  the  leisure  part  of  life,  so  should  they  occupy 
the  leisure  part  of  education. 

Recognising  thus  the  true  position  of  aesthetics, 
and  holdino;  that  while  the  cultivation  of  them 
should  form  a  part  of  education  from  its  commence- 
ment, such  cultivation  should  be  subsidiary  ;  we 
have  now  to  inquire  what  knowledge  is  of  most  use 
to  this  end — what  knowledge  best  fits  for  this 
remaining  sphere  of  activity.  To  this  question  the 
answer  is  still  the  same  as  heretofore.  Unexj)ected 
as  the  assertion  may  be,  it  is  nevertheless  true,  that 
the  highest  Art  of  every  kind  is  based  upon  Science 
— that  without  Science  there  can  be  neither  perfect 
production  nor  full  appreciation.  Science,  in  that 
limited  technical  acceptation  current  in  society, 
may  not  have  been  possessed  by  many  artists  of 
high  repute ;  but  acute  observers  as  they  have 
been,  they  have  always  possessed  a  stock  of  those 
empirical  generalizations  which  constitute  science 
in  its  lowest  phase  ;  and  they  have  habitually  fallen 
far  below  perfection,  partly  because  their  generali- 
zations were  comparatively  few  and  inaccurate. 
That  science  necessarily  underlies  the  fine  arts,  be- 
comes manifest,  d  priori,  when  we  remember  that 
art-products  are  all  more  or  less  representative  of 
objective  or  subjective  phenomena ;  that  they  can 
be  true  only  in  proportion  as  they  conform  to  the 
laws  of  these  phenomena  ;  and  that  before  they  can 
thus  conform  the  artist  must  know  what  these  laws 

<0  WHAT   KNOWLEDGE    IS    OF   MOST    WOKTU  5 

are.  Tliat  this  a  priori  conclusion  tallies  with  ex- 
perience we  shall  soon  see. 

Youths  preparing  for  the  practice  of  sculpture, 
have  to  acquaint  themselves  with  the  bones  and 
muscles  of  the  human  frame  in  tlieir  distribution, 
attachments,  and  movements.  This  is  a  portion 
of  science  ;  and  it  has  been  found  needful  to  impart 
it  for  the  prevention  of  those  many  errors  which 
sculptors  who  do  not  possess  it  commit.  For  the 
prevention  of  other  mistakes,  a  knowledge  of  mechan- 
ical principles  is  requisite  ;  and  such  knowledge  not 
being  usually  possessed,  grave  mechanical  mistakes 
are  frequently  made.  Take  an  instance.  For  the 
stability  of  a  figure  it  is  needful  that  the  perpen- 
dicular from  the  centre  of  gravity — "  the  line  of 
direction,"  as  it  is  called — should  fall  within  the 
base  of  support ;  and  hence  it  happens,  that  when 
a  man  assumes  the  attitude  known  as  "  standing  at 
ease,"  in  which  one  leg  is  straightened  and  the 
other  relaxed,  the  line  of  direction  falls  within  the 
foot  of  the  straightened  leg.  But  sculptors  unfa- 
miliar with  the  theory  of  e(piilil)rium,  not  un- 
commonly so  represent  this  attitude,  that  the  line 
of  direction  falls  midway  between  the  feet.  Igno- 
rance of  the  laws  of  momentum  leads  to  analogous 
errors  :  as  witness  the  admired  Discobolus,  which, 
as  it  is  posed,  must  inevitably  fall  forward  the 
moment  the  quoit  is  delivered. 

In  painting,  the  necessity  for  scientific  knowl- 
edge, empirical  if  not  rational,  is  still  more  con- 
spicuous.     In  what  consists  the  grotesqueness  of 

USES    OF    SCIENCE   TO    THE    PAINTER.  ii 

Chinese  pictures,  unless  in  tlieir  utter  disregard  of 
the  laws  of  appearances — in  their  absurd  linear 
perspective,  and  tlieir  want  of  aerial  perspective  ? 
In  what  are  the  drawings  of  a  child  so  faulty,  if  not 
in  a  similar  absence  of  truth — an  absence  arising, 
in  great  part,  from  ignorance  of  the  way  in  which 
the  aspects  of  things  vary  with  the  conditions  ? 
Do  but  remember  tlie  books  and  lectures  by  which 
students  are  instructed ;  or  consider  the  criticisms 
of  Ruskin ;  or  look  at  the  doings  of  the  Pre- 
Raffaelites ;  and  you  wall  see  that  progress  in 
painting  implies  increasing  knowledge  of  how 
effects  in  ^Nature  are  produced,  Tlie  most  diligent 
observation,  if  not  aided  by  science,  fails  to  preserve 
from  error.  Every  painter  will  indorse  the  asser- 
tion that  unless  it  is  known  what  appearances  must 
exist  under  given  circumstances,  they  often  will  not 
be  perceived  ;  and  to  know  what  appearances  must 
exist,  is,  in  so  far,  to  understand  the  science  of 
appearances.  From  want  of  science  Mr.  J.  Lewis^ 
careful  painter  as  he  is,  casts  the  shadow  of  a  lattice- 
window  in  sharply-defined  lines  upon  an  opposite 
wall ;  which  he  would  not  have  done,  had  he  been 
familiar  with  the  phenomena  of  penumbrse.  From 
want  of  science,  Mr.  Rosetti,  catching  sight  of  a 
peculiar  ii-idescence  displayed  by  certain  hairy 
surfaces  under  particular  lights  (an  iridescence 
caused  by  the  diflraction  of  light  in  passing  the 
hairs),  commits  the  error  of  showing  this  iridescence 
on  surfaces  and  in  positions  where  it  could  not 


To  say  tliat  music,  too,  lias  need  of  scientific  aid 
will  seem  still  more  surprising.  Yet  it  is  demon- 
straLle  that  nnisic  is  but  an  idealization  of  the  nat- 
ural language  of  emotion  ;  and  that  consequently, 
music  must  be  good  or  bad  according  as  it  conforms 
to  the  laws  of  this  natural  language.  The  various 
inflections  of  voice  which  accompany  feelings  of 
different  kinds  and  intensities,  have  been  shown  to 
be  the  germs  out  of  which  music  is  developed.  It 
has  been  further  shown,  that  these  inflections  and 
cadences  are  not  accidental  or  arbitrary  ;  but  that 
they  are  determined  by  certain  general  principles 
of  vital  action  ;  and  that  their  expressiveness  de- 
pends on  this.  Whence  it  follows  that  musical 
phrases  and  the  melodies  built  of  them,  can  be  ef- 
fective only  when  they  are  in  harmony  with  these 
general  principles.  It  is  difficult  here  properly  to 
illustrate  this  position.  But  perhaps  it  will  suffice 
to  instance  the  swarms  of  worthless  ballads  that  in- 
fest drawing-rooms,  as  compositions  which  science 
would  forbid.  They  sin  against  science  by  setting 
to  music  ideas  that  are  not  emotional  enough  to 
prompt  musical  expression ;  and  they  also  sin 
against  science  by  using  musical  phrases  that  have 
no  natural  relation  to  the  ideas  expressed  :  even 
where  these  are  emotional.  Thej  are  bad  because 
they  are  untrue.  And  to  say  they  are  untrue,  is  to 
say  they  are  unscientific. 

Even  in  poetry  the  same  thing  holds.  Like 
music,  poetry  has  its  root  in  those  natural  modes  of 
expression   which   accompany    deep    feeling.      Its 


SCIENCE   DEALS    WITH    MUSIC    AND    POETRY.         79 

rliytlim,  its  strong  and  numerous  metaphors,  its  hy- 
perboles, its  violent  inversions,  are  simply  exaggera- 
tions of  the  traits  of  excited  speech.  To  be  good, 
therefore,  poetry  must  pay  respect  to  those  laws  of 
nervous  action  which  excited  speech  obeys.  In  in* 
tensifying  and  combining  the  traits  of  excited  speech, 
it  must  have  due  regard  to  proportion — must  not 
use  its  appliances  without  restriction  ;  but,  where 
the  ideas  are  least  emotional,  must  use  the  forms  of 
poetical  expression  sparingly  ;  must  use  them  more 
freely  as  the  emotion  rises  ;  and  must  carry  them 
all  to  their  greatest  extent  only  where  the  emotion 
reaches  a  climax.  Tlie  entire  contravention  of  these 
principles  results  in  bombast  or  doggerel.  Tlie  in- 
sufficient respect  for  them  is  seen  in  didactic  poetry. 
And  it  is  because  they  are  rarely  fully  obeyed,  that 
w^e  have  so  much  poetry  that  is  inartistic. 

Not  only  is  it  that  the  artist,  of  whatever  kind, 
cannot  produce  a  truthful  work  without  he  under- 
stands the  laws  of  the  phenomena  he  represents ; 
but  it  is  that  he  must  also  understand  how  the 
minds  of  sj^ectators  or  listeners  will  be  affected  by 
the  several  peculiarities  of  his  work — a  question  in 
psychology.  What  impression  any  given  art-prod- 
uct generates,  manifestly  depends  upon  the  mental 
natures  of  those  to  whom  it  is  presented  ;  and  as  all 
mental  natures  have  certain  general  principles  in 
common,  tliere  must  result  certain  corresponding 
general  principles  on  which  alone  art-products  can 
be  successfully  framed.  These  general  principles 
cannot  be  fully  understood  and  applied,  unless  tha 


artist  sees  liow  they  follow  from  tlie  laws  of  mind. 
To  ask  w^lietlier  the  composition  of  a  picture  is  good, 
is  reallj  to  ask  how  the  perceptions  and  feelings  of 
observers  will  be  affected  bv  it.  To  ask  whether  a 
drama  is  well  constructed,  is  to  ask  whether  its  sit- 
uations are  so  arranged  as  duly  to  consult  the  power 
of  attention  of  an  audience,  and  duly  to  avoid  over- 
taxing any  one  class  of  feelings.  Equally  in  arrang- 
ing the  leading  divisions  of  a  poem  or  fiction,  and 
in  combining  the  words  of  a  single  sentence,  the 
goodness  of  the  effect  depends  upon  the  skill  with 
which  the  mental  energies  and  susceptibilities  of 
the  reader  are  economized.  Every  artist-,  in  the 
course  of  his  education  and  after-life,  accumulates  a 
stock  of  maxims  by  which  his  practice  is  regulated. 
Trace  such  maxims  to  their  roots,  and  you  find  they 
inevitably  lead  you  down  to  psychological  princi- 
ples. And  only  when  the  artist  rationally  under- 
stands these  psychological  principles  and  their  va- 
rious corollaries, '  can  he  work  in  harmony  with 

We  do  not  for  a  moment  believe  that  science 
will  make  an  artist.  While  we  contend  that  the 
leading  laws  both  of  objective  and  subjective  phe- 
nomena must  be  understood  by  him,  we  by  no 
means  contend  that  knowledge  of  such  laws  will 
serve  in  place  of  natural  perception.  Not  only  tlie 
poet,  but  also  the  artist  of  every  type,  is  born,  not 
made.  AVhat  we  assert  is,  that  innate  faculty  alone 
will  not  suffice  ;  but  must  have  the  aid  of  organized 
knowledge.     Intuition  will  do  much,  but  it  will  not 


do  all.  Only  when  Genius  is  married  to  Science 
can  the  highest  results  be  produced. 

As  we  have  above  asserted,  Science  is  necessary 
not  only  for  the  most  successful  production,  but 
also  for  the  full  appreciation  of  the  fine  arts.  In 
what  consists  the  greater  ability  of  a  man  than  of 
a  child  to  perceive  the  beauties  of  a  picture  ;  unless 
it  is  in  his  more  extended  knowledge  of  those  truths 
in  nature  or  life  which  the  picture  renders  ?  How 
happens  the  cultivated  gentleman  to  enjoy  a  fine 
poem  so  much  more  than  a  boor  does ;  if  it  is  not 
because  his  wider  acquaintance  with  objects  and  ac- 
tions enables  him  to  see  in  the  poem  much  that  the 
boor  cannot  see  ?  And  if,  as  is  here  so  obvious, 
there  must  be  some  familiarity  with  the  things  rep- 
resented, before  the  representation  can  be  appreci- 
ated ;  then  the  representation  can  be  completely 
appreciated,  only  in  proportion  as  the  things  repre- 
sented are  completely  understood.  The  fact  is,  that 
every  additional  truth  which  a  work  of  art  express- 
es, gives  an  additional  pleasure  to  the  percipient 
mind — a  pleasure  that  is  missed  by  those  ignorant 
of  this  truth.  The  more  realities  an  artist  indicates 
in  any  given  amount  of  work,  the  more  faculties 
does  he  appeal  to ;  the  more  numerous  associated 
ideas  does  he  suggest ;  the  more  gratification  does 
he  aftord.  But  to  receive  this  gratification  the 
spectator,  listener,  or  reader,  must  know  the  reali- 
ties whicli  the  artist  has  indicated  ;  and  to  know 
these  realities  is  to  know  so  much  science. 

And  now  let  us  not  overlook  the  further  great 


fact,  that  not  only  docs  science  underlie  sculpture, 
painting,  music,  poetry,  but  that  science  is  itself  . 
poetic.  Tlie  current  opinion  that  science  and  poet- 
ry are  opjiosed  is  a  delusion.  It  is  doubtless  true 
that  as  states  of  consciousness,  cognition  and  emo- 
tion tend  to  exclude  each  other.  And  it  is  doubt- 
less also  true  that  an  extreme  activity  of  the  reflect- 
ive powers  tends  to  deaden  the  feelings ;  while  an 
extreme  activity  of  the  feelings  tends  to  deaden  the 
reflective  powers  :  in  which  sense,  indeed,  all  orders 
of  activity  are  antagonistic  to  each  other.  But  it 
is  not  true  that  the  facts  of  science  are  unpoetical  ; 
or  that  the  cultivation  of  science  is  necessarily  un- 
friendly to  the  exercise  of  imagination  or  the  love 
of  the  beautiful.  On  the  contrary  science  opens  up 
realms  of  poetry  where  to  the  unscientific  all  is  a 
blank.  Those  engaged  in  scientific  researches  con- 
stantly show  us  that  they  realize  not  less  vividly, 
but  more  \'4vidly,  than  others,  the  poetry  of  their 
subjects.  Whoever  will  dip  into  Hugh  Miller's 
works  on  geology,  or  read  Mr.  LeM'es's  "  Seaside 
Studies,"  will  perceive  that  science  excites  poetry 
rather  than  extinguishes  it.  And  whoever  will  con- 
template the  life  of  Goethe  will  see  that  the  poet 
and  the  man  of  science  can  co-exist  in  equal  activi- 
ty. Is  it  not,  indeed,  an  absurd  and  almost  a  sacri- 
legious belief  that  the  more  a  man  studies  Nature 
the  less  he  reveres  it  ?  Think  you  that  a  drop  of 
water,  which  to  the  vulgar  eye  is  but  a  drop  of 
water,  loses  anything  in  the  eye  of  the  physicist 
who  knows  that  its  elements  are  held  together  by  a 


force  which,  if  suddenly  liberated,  would  produce  a 
flasli  of  lightning  ?  Think  you  that  what  is  care- 
lessly looked  upon  by  the  uninitiated  as  a  mere 
snow-flake,  does  not  suggest  higher  associations  to 
one  who  has  seen  through  a  microscope  the  won- 
drously  varied  and  elegant  forms  of  snow-crystals  ? 
Tliink  you  that  the  rounded  rock  marked  with  par- 
allel scratches  calls  up  as  much  poetry  in  an  igno- 
rant mind  as  in  the  mind  of  a  geologist,  who  knows 
that  over  this  rock  a  glacier  slid  a  million  years 
ago  ?  The  truth  is,  that  those  who  have  never  en- 
tered upon  scientific  pursuits  know  not  a  tithe  of 
the  poetry  by  which  they  are  surrounded.  Who- 
ever has  not  in  youth  collected  plants  and  insects, 
knows  not  half  the  halo  of  interest  which  lanes  and 
hedge-rows  can  assume.  Whoever  has  not  sought 
for  fossils,  has  little  idea  of  the  poetical  associations 
that  surround  the  places  where  imbedded  treasures 
were  found.  Whoever  at  the  seaside  has  not  had  a 
microscope  and  aquarium,  has  yet  to  learn  what 
the  highest  jjleasures  of  the  seaside  are.  Sad,  in- 
deed, is  it  to  see  how  men  occupy  themselves  with 
trivialities,  and  are  indiiferent  to  the  grandest  phe- 
nomena— care  not  to  understand  the  architecture  of 
the  Heavens,  but  are  deeply  interested  in  some  con- 
temptible controversy  about  the  intrigues  of  Mary 
Queen  of  Scots ! — are  learnedly  critical  over  a 
Greek  ode,  and  pass  by  without  a  glance  that  grand 
epic  written  by  the  finger  of  God  uiDon  the  strata  of 
the  Earth  ! 

We  find,  then,  that  even  for  this  remaining  di' 

84  WHAT    KNOWLEDGE    IS    OF   MOST    WORTH  ? 

vision  of  human  activities,  scientific  culture  is  the 
1^ roper  preparation.  Wo  find  that  aesthetics  in  gen- 
eral are  necessarily  based  upon  scientific  principles ; 
nnd  can  be  pursued  with  complete  success  only, 
tlirouijh  an  acquaintance  with  these  principles.  We 
find  that  for  the  criticism  and  due  appreciation  of 
works  of  art,  a  knowledge  of  the  constitution  of 
things,  or  in  other  words,  a  knowledge  of  science,  is 
requisite.  And  we  not  only  find  that  science  is  the 
handmaid  to  all  forms  of  art  and  poetry,  but  that, 
rightly  regarded,  science  is  itself  poetic. 

Tlius  far  our  question  has  been,  the  worth  of 
knowledge  of  this  or  that  kind  for  purposes  of  guid- 
ance. AVe  have  now  to  judge  the  relative  values 
of  different  kinds  of  knowledge  for  purposes  of 
discipline.  This  division  of  our  subject  we  are 
obliged  to  treat  with  comparative  brevity ;  and 
happily,  no  very  lengthened  treatment  of  it  is  need- 
ed. Having  found  what  is  best  for  the  one  end,  we 
have  by  implication  found  what  is  best  for  the  other. 
We  may  be  quite  sure  that  the  acquirement  of  those 
classes  of  facts  which  are  most  useful  for  regulating 
conduct,  involves  a  mental  exercise  best  fitted  for 
strengthening  the  faculties.  It  would  be  utterly 
contrary  to  the  beautiful  economy  of  Nature,  if  one 
kind  of  culture  were  needed  for  tlie  gaining  of  in- 
formation and  another  kind  were  needed  as  a  men- 
tal gymnastic.  Everywhere  throughout  creation 
we  find  faculties  developed  through  the  performance 
of  those  functions  which  it  is  their  office  to  per- 


form  ;  not  through  the  performance  of  artificial  ex- 
ercises devised  to  fit  them  for  these  functions.  The 
Red  Indian  acquires  the  swiftness  and  agility  which 
make  him  a  successful  hunter,  by  the  actual  pursuit 
of  animals  ;  and  by  the  miscellaneous  activities  of 
his  life,  he  gains  a  better  balance  of  physical  powers 
than  gymnastics  ever  give.  Tluxt  skill  in  tracking 
enemies  and  prey  which  he  has  reached  by  long 
practice,  implies  a  subtlety  of  perception  far  exceed- 
ing anything  produced  by  artificial  training.  And 
similarly  throughout.  From  the  Bushman,  whose 
eye,  wliicli  being  habitually  employed  in  identify- 
ing distant  objects  that  are  to  be  pursued  or  fled 
from,  has  acquired  a  quite  telescopic  range,  to  the 
accountant  whose  daily  practice  enables  him  to  add 
up  several  columns  of  figures  simultaneously,  we 
find  that  the  highest  power  of  a  faculty  "results  from 
the  discharge  of  those  duties  wdiich  the  conditions 
of  life  require  it  to  discharge.  And  we  may  be 
certain,  d  priori,  that  the  same  law  holds  through- 
out education.  The  education  of  most  value  for 
guidance,  must  at  the  same  time  be  the  education 
of  most  value  for  discipline.  Let  us  consider  the 

One  advantage  claimed  for  that  devotion  to 
language-learning  which  forms  so  prominent  a 
feature  in  the  ordinary  curric^/him,  is,  that  the 
memory  is  thereby  strengthened.  And  it  is  ap- 
parently assumed  that  this  is  an  advantage  peculiar 
to  the  study  of  words.  But  the  truth  is,  that  the 
sciences  afi'ord  far  wider  fields  for  the  exercise  of 

8G        ^v^AT  knowledge  is  of  most  avoktii  ? 

memory.  It  is  no  sliglit  task  to  remember  all  tlic 
facts  ascertained  respcctini;  onr  solar  system  ;  nuich 
more  to  remember  all  that  is  known  concerning  the 
structure  of  our  galaxy.  The  new  compounds 
which  chemistry  daily  accumulates,  are  so  numer- 
ous that  few,  save  professors,  know  the  names  of 
them  all ;  and  to  recollect  the  atomic  constitutions 
and  affinities  of  all  these  compounds,  is  scarcely 
possible  without  making  chemistry  the  occupation 
of  life.  In  the  enormous  mass  of  phenomena  pre- 
sented by  the  Earth's  crust,  and  in  the  still  more 
enormous  mass  of  phenomena  presented  by  the 
fossils  it  contains,  there  is  matter  which  it  takes  the 
geological  student  years  of  ai)plication  to  master. 
In  each  leading  division  of  physics — sound,  heat, 
light,  electricity — the  facts  are  numerous  enough 
to  alarm  any  one  proposing  to  leani  them  all. 
And  when  we  pass  to  the  organic  sciences,  the  effort 
of  memory  required  becomes  still  greater.  In  hu- 
man anatomy  alone,  the  quantity  of  detail  is  so 
great,  that  the  young  surgeon  has  commonly  to  get 
it  up  half-a-dozen  times  before  he  can  permanently 
retain  it.  The  number  of  species  of  plants  which 
botanists  distinguish,  amounts  to  some  320,000 ; 
while  the  varied  forms  of  animal  life  with  which  the 
zoologist  deals,  are  estimated  at  some  two  millions. 
So  vast  is  the  accumulation  of  facts  which  men  of 
science  have  before  them,  that  only  by  dividing 
and  subdividing  their  labours  can  they  deal  witli 
it.  To  a  complete  knowledge  of  his  own  division, 
each  adds  but  a  general  knowledge  of  the  rest. 


Surely,  tlien,  science,  cultivated  even  to  a  very 
moderate  extent,  affords  adequate  exercise  for 
memory.  To  say  tlie  very  least,  it  involves  quite 
as  good  a  training  for  this  faculty  as  language  does. 
But  now  mark  that  while  for  the  training  of 
mere  memory,  science  is  as  good  as,  if  not  better 
than,  language  ;  it  has  an  immense  superiority  in 
the  kind  of  memory  it  cultivates.  In  the  acquire- 
ment of  a  language,  the  connexions  of  ideas  to  he 
established  in  the  mind  correspond  to  facts  that  are 
in  great  measure  accidental  ;  whereas,  in  the  ac- 
quirement of  science,  the  connexions  of  ideas  to  lie 
established  in  the  mind  correspond  to  facts  that  arc 
mostly  necessary.  It  is  true  that  the  relations  of 
words  to  their  meaning  is  in  one  sense  natural,  and 
that  the  genesis  of  these  relations  may  be  traced 
back  a  certain  distance ;  though  very  rarely  to 
the  beginning  ;  (to  which  let  us  add  the  remark 
that  the  law^s  of  this  genesis  form  a  branch  of  mental 
science — the  science  of  philology.)  But  since  it 
will  not  be  contended  that  in  the  acquisition  of 
languages,  as  ordinarily  carried  on,  these  natural 
relations  between  words  and  their  meanings  are 
habitually  traced,  and  the  laws  regulating  them 
explained  ;  it  must  be  admitted  that  they  are  com- 
monly learned  as  fortuitous  relations.  On  the  othef 
hand,  the  relations  which  science  presents  are  causal 
relations ;  and,  when  properly  taught,  are  under- 
stood as  such.  Instead  of  being  practically  acci- 
dental, they  are  necessary  ;  and  as  such,  give  exer- 
cise to   the   reasoning  faculties.     While  language 

88  VruXT   KNOWLEDGE    IS    OF   MOST    WOKTH  ? 

familiarizes  with  non-rational  relations,  science  fa- 
miliarizes with  rational  relations.  AVhile  the  one 
exercises  memory  only,  the  other  exercises  both 
memory  and  understanding. 

Observe  next  that  a  great  snperiority  of  science 
over  language  as  a  means  of  discipline,  is,  that  it 
cultivates  the  judgment.  As,  in  a  lecture  on  mental 
education  delivered  at  the  Eoyal  Institution,  Pro- 
fessor Faraday  well  remarks,  the  most  common 
intellectual  fault  is  deficiency  of  judgment.  He 
contends  that  "  society,  speaking  generally,  is  not 
only  ignorant  as  respects  education  of  the  judgment, 
but  it  is  also  ignorant  of  its  ignorance."  And  the 
cause  to  which  he  ascribes  this  state  is  want  of 
scientific  culture.  The  truth  of  his  conclusion  is 
obvious.  Correct  judgment  with  regard  to  all 
surrounding  things,  events,  and  consequences,  be- 
comes possible  only  through  knowledge  of  the  way 
in  which  surroundiTig  phenomena  depend  on  each 
other.  Ko  extent  of  acquaintance  with  the  mean- 
ings of  words,  can  give  the  power  of  forming  correct 
inferences  respecting  causes  and  effects.  Tlie  con- 
stant habit  of  drawing  conclusions  from  data,  and 
then  of  verifying  those  conclusions  by  observation 
and  experiment,  can  alone  give  the  power  of  judg- 
ing correctl}".  And  that  it  necessitates  this  habit  is 
one  of  the  immense  advantages  of  science. 

Not  only,  however,  for  intellectual  discipline  is 
science  the  best ;  but  also  for  vioral  discipline. 
The  learning  of  languages  tends,  if  anything,  further 
to  increase  the  already  undue  respect  for  authority. 


Such  and  such  are  the  meanings  of  these  words, 
says  the  teacher  or  the  dictionary.  So  and  so  is 
the  rule  in  this  case,  says  the  grammar.  By  the 
pupil  these  dicta  are  received  as  unquestionable. 
His  constant  attitude  of  mind  is  that  of  submission 
to  dogmatic  teaching.  And  a  necessary  result  is  a 
tendency  to  accept  without  inquiry  whatever  is 
established.  Quite  opposite  is  the  attitude  of  min^ 
generated  by  tlie  cultivation  of  science.  By  science, 
constant  appeal  is  made  to  individual  reason.  Its 
truths  are  not  accepted  upon  authority  alone  ;  but 
all  are  at  liberty  to  test  them — ^nay,  in  many  cases, 
the  pupil  is  required  to  think  out  his  own  conclu- 
sions. Every  step  in  a  scientific  investigation  is  sub- 
mitted to  his  judgment.  He  is  not  asked  io  admit 
it  without  seeing  it  to  be  true.  And  the  trust  in 
his  own  powers  thus  produced,  is  further  increased 
by  the  constancy  with  which  Xature  justifies  his 
conclusions  when  they  are  correctly  drawn.  From 
all  which  there  flows  that  independence  which  is  a 
most  valuable  element  in  character.  !N^or  is  this 
the  only  moral  benefit  bequeathed  by  scientific 
culture.  "When  carried  on,  as  it  should  always  be, 
as  much  as  possible  under  the  form  of  independent 
research,  it  exercises  perseverance  and  sincerity. 
As  says  Professor  Tyudall  of  inductive  inquiry,  "  it 
requires  patient  industry,  and  an  humble  and  con- 
scientious acceptance  of  what  Xature  reveals.  The 
first  condition  of  success  is  an  honest  receptivity 
and  a  willingness  to  abandon  all  preconceived 
notions,  however  cherished,  if  they  be  found  to 

00  WHAT   KNOWLEDGE   IS    OF    MOST    WORTH  ? 

contradict  the  tnitli.  Believe  me,  a  self-renuncia- 
tion which  has  something  noble  in  it,  and  of  which 
the  world  never  liears,  is  often  enacted  in  the  pi-ivate 
experience  of  the  true  votary  of  science." 

Lastly  we  have  to  assert — and  the  assertion  will, 
we  doubt  not,  cause  extreme  surprise — that  the 
discipline  of  science  is  superior  to  that  of  our  ordi- 
nary education,  because  of  the  7'eligicnis  culture  that 
it  gives.  Of  course  we  do  not  here  use  the  words 
scientific  and  religious  in  their  ordinary  limited 
acceptations  ;  but  in  their  widest  and  highest  ac- 
ceptations. Doubtless,  to  the  superstitions  that 
pass  under  the  name  of  religion,  science  is  antago- 
nistic ;  but  not  to  the  essential  religion  which  these 
superstitions  merely  hide.  Doubtless,  too,  in  mucli 
of  the  science  that  is  current,  there  is  a  pervading 
spirit  of  irreligion  ;  but  not  in  that  true  science 
whicli  has  passed  beyond  the  superficial  into  the 

"  True  science  and  true  religion,"  says  Professor  Iluxley 
at  the  close  of  a  recent  course  of  lectures,  "  are  twin-sisters, 
and  the  separation  of  either  from  the  otlier  is  sure  to  prove 
the  death  of  both.  Science  prospers  exactly  in  proportion  as 
it  is  I'eligious ;  and  religion  flourishes  in  exact  proportion  to 
the  scientific  depth  and  firmness  of  its  basis.  The  great  deeds 
of  philosophers  have  been  less  the  fruit  of  their  intellect  than 
of  the  direction  of  that  intellect  by  an  eminently  religious  tone 
of  mind.  Truth  has  yielded  herself  rather  to  their  patience, 
their  love,  their  single-heartedness,  and  their  self-denial,  than 
to  their  logical  acumen." 

So  far  from  science  being  irreligious,  as  many 


think,  tt  is  the  neglect  of  science  that  is  irreligious 
— it  is  the  refusal  to  study  the  suirounding  creation 
that  is  irreligious.  Take  a  humhle  simile.  Sup- 
jiose  a  writer  were  daily  sahited  with  praises 
couched  in  superlative  language.  Suppose  the 
wisdom,  the  grandeur,  the  beauty  of  his  works, 
were  the  constant  topics  of  the  eulogies  addressed 
to  him.  Suppose  those  who  unceasingly  uttered 
these  eulogies  on  his  works  were  content  with  look- 
ing at  the  outsides  of  them  ;  and  had  never  opened 
them,  much  less  tried  to  understand  them.  What 
value  should  we  put  upon  their  praises  ?  What 
should  we  think  of  their  sincerity  ?  Yet,  compar- 
ing small  things  to  great,  such  is  the  conduct  of 
mankind  in  general,  in  reference  to  the  Universe 
and  its  Cause.  Nay,  it  is  worse,  l^ot  only  do  they 
pass  by  without  study,  these  things  which  they  daily 
proclaim  to  be  so  wonderful ;  but  very  frequently 
they  condemn  as  mere  triflers  those  who  give  time 
to  the  observation  of  I^ature — they  actually  scorn 
those  who  show  any  active  interest  in  these  marvels. 
We  repeat,  then,  that  not  science,  but  the  neglect 
of  science,  is  irreligious.  Devotion  to  science,  is 
a  tacit  worship — a  tacit  recognition  of  worth  in  the 
things  studied  ;  and  by  implication  in  their  Cause. 
It  is  not  a  mere  lip-homage,  but  a  homage  ex- 
pressed in  actions — not  a  mere  professed  respect, 
but  a  respect  proved  by  the  sacrifice  of  time,  thought, 
and  labour. 

Nor  is  it  thus  only  that  true  science  is  essentially 
religious.     It  is  religious,  too,  inasmuch  as  it  geiv 

92  -WHAT    KNOWLEDGE    IS    OF   MOST    WORTH? 

erates  a  profound  respect  for,  and  an  implicit  faith 
in,  those  uniform  laws  which  underlie  all  things. 
By  accumulated  experiences  the  man  of  science  ac- 
quires a  thorough  belief  in  the  unclianging  relations 
of  phenomena — in  the  invariable  connexion  of  cause 
and  consequence — in  the  necessity  of  good  or  evil 
results.  Instead  of  the  rewards  and  i)unishments 
of  traditional  belief,  which  men  vaguely  hope  they 
may  gain,  or  escape,  spite  of  their  disobedience ; 
he  finds  that  there  are  rewards  and  punishments  in 
the  ordained  constitution  of  things,  and  that  the 
evil  results  of  disobedience  are  inevitable.  He  sees 
that  the  laws  to  which  we  must  submit  are  not 
only  inexorable  but  beneficent.  He  sees  that  in 
virtue  of  these  laws,  the  process  of  things  is  ever 
towards  a  greater  perfection  and  a  higher  happiness. 
Hence  he  is  led  constantly  to  insist  on  these  laws, 
and  is  indignant  when  men  disregard  them.  And 
thus  does  he,  by  asserting  the  eternal  principles 
of  things  and  the  necessity  of  conforming  to  them, 
prove  himself  intrinsically  religious. 

To  all  which  add  the  further  religious  aspect  of 
science,  that  it  alone  can  give  us  true  conceptions 
of  ourselves  and  our  relation  to  the  mysteries  of 
existence.  At  the  same  time  that  it  shows  us  all 
which  can  be  known,  it  shows  us  the  limits  beyond 
which  we  can  know  nothing.  Kot  by  dogmatic 
assertion  does  it  teach  the  inq)OS6ibility  of  compre- 
hending the  ultimate  cause  of  things  ;  but  it  leads 
US  clearly  to  recognise  this  impossibility  by  bring- 
ing us  in  every  direction  to  boundaries  we  cannot 


cross.  It  realizes  to  us  in  a  vraj  wliicli  notliing 
else  can,  the  littleness  of  liuman  intelligence  in  the 
face  of  that  which  transcends  human  intelligence. 
"While  towards  the  traditions  and  authorities  of  men 
its  attitude  may  be  proud,  before  the  impenetrable 
veil  which  hides  the  Absolute  its  attitude  is  humble 
— a  true  pride  and  a  true  humility.  Only  the  sin- 
cere man  of  science  (and  by  this  title  we  do  not 
mean  the  mere  calculator  of  distances,  or  analyser 
of  compounds,  or  labeller  of  species  ;  but  him  who 
through  lower  truths  seeks  higher,  and  eventually 
the  highest) — only  the  genuine  man  of  science,  we 
say,  can  truly  know  how  utterly  beyond,  not  only 
liuman  knowledge,  but  human  conception,  is  the 
Universal  Power  of  which  ISTature,  and  Life,  and 
Thought  are  manifestations. 

We  conclude,  then,  that  for  discipline,  as  well 
as  for  guidance,  science  is  of  chiefest  value.  In 
all  its  eifects,  learning  the  meanings  of  things, 
is  better  than  learning  the  meanings  of  words. 
Whether  for  intellectual,  moral,  or  religious  train- 
ing, the  study  of  surrounding  phenomena  is  im- 
mensely superior  to  the  study  of  grammars  and 

Tlius  to  the  question  with  which  we  set  out — • 
What  knowledge  is  of  most  worth  ? — the  uniform 
reply  is — Science.  Tliis  is  the  verdict  on  all  the 
counts.  For  direct  self-preservation,  or  the  main- 
tenance of  life  and  health,  the  all-important  knowl- 
edge is — Science.    For  that  indirect  self-preservation 

94  WHAT    KNOWLEDGE    IS    OF   MOST    WORTH  ? 

wliicli  wo  call  gaming  a  livcliliood,  tlic  knowledge 
of  greatest  value  is — Scienee.  For  the  due  dis- 
charge of  parental  fimctions,  the  proper  guidance 
is  to  be  found  only  in — Science,  For  that  interpre- 
tation of  national  life,  past  and  present,  without 
which  the  citizen  cannot  rightly  regulate  his  con- 
duct, the  indispensable  key  is — Science.  Alike  for 
the  most  perfect  production  and  highest  enjoy- 
ment of  art  in  all  its  forms,  the  needful  preparation 
is  still — Science.  And  for  purposes  of  discipline 
— intellectual,  moral,  religious — the  most  efficient 
study  is,  once  more — Science.  The  question  which 
at  first  seemed  so  perplexed,  has  become,  in  the 
course  of  our  inquiry,  comparatively  simple.  We 
have  not  to  estimate  the  degrees  of  importance  of 
different  orders  of  human  activity,  and  different 
studies  as  severally  fitting  us  for  them  ;  since  we 
find  that  the  study  of  Science,  in  its .  most  compre- 
hensive meaning,  is  the  best  preparation  for  all 
these  orders  of  activity.  We  have  not  to  decide 
between  the  claims  of  knowledge  of  great  though 
conventional  value,  and  knowledge  of  less  though 
intrinsic  value  ;  seeing  that  the  knowledge  which 
we  find  to  be  of  most  value  in  all  other  respects,  is 
intrinsically  most  valuable :  its  worth  is  not  de- 
pendent u})on  opinion,  but  is  as  fixed  as  is  the  rela- 
tion of  man  to  the  surrounding  world.  Necessary 
and  eternal  as  are  its  truths,  all  Science  concerns 
all  numkind  for  all  time.  Equally  at  present,  and 
in  the  remotest  future,  must  it  be  of  incalculable 
importance  for  the  regulation  of  their  conduct,  that 


men  should  understand  the  science  of  life,  physical, 
mental,  and  social ;  and  that  they  should  under- 
stand all  other  science  as  a  key  to  the  science  of 

And  yet  the  knowledge  which  is  of  such  tran- 
scendent value  is  that  which,  in  our  age  of  boasted 
education,  receives  the  least  attention.  While  this 
which  we  call  civilization  could  never  have  arisen 
had  it  not  been  for  science  ;  science  forms  scarcely 
an  a})preciable  element  in  what  men  consider  civi- 
lized training.  Though  to  the  progress  of  science 
we  owe  it,  that  millions  find  support  where  once 
there  was  food  only  for  thousands  ;  yet  of  these 
millions  but  a  few  thousands  pay  any  respect  to 
that  which  has  made  their  existence  possible. 
Though  this  increasing  knowledge  of  the  proper- 
ties and  relations  of  things  has  not  only  enabled 
wandering  tribes  to  grow  into  pojDulous  nations, 
but  has  given  to  the  countless  members  of  those 
populous  nations  comforts  and  pleasures  which  their 
few  naked  ancestors  never  even  conceived,  or  could 
have  believed,  yet  is  this  kind  of  knowledge  only 
now  receiving  a  grudging  recognition  in  our  highest 
educational  institutions.  To  the  slowly  growing 
acquaintance  with  the  uniform  co-existences  and 
sequences  of  phenomena — to  the  establishment  of 
invariable  laws,  we  owe  our  emancipation  from  the 
grossest  superstitions.  But  for  science  we  should  be 
still  worshipping  fetishes ;  or,  with  hecatombs  of 
victims,  propitiating  diabolical  deities.  And  yet 
this  science,  wdiich,  in  place  of  the  most  degrading 


conceptions  of  tilings,  lias  given  us  some  insight 
into  the  grandeurs  of  creation,  is  written  against  in 
our  theologies  and  frowned  upon  from  our  pulpits. 
Paraphrasing  an  Eastern  fable,  we  may  say  that 
in  the  family  of  knowledges,  Science  is  the  house- 
hold drudge,  who,  in  obscurity,  hides  unrecognised 
perfections.  To  her  has  been  committed  all  the 
work  ;  by  her  skill,  intelligence,  and  devotion,  have 
all  the  conveniences  and  gratifications  been  ob- 
tained ;  and  while  ceaselessly  occupied  ministering 
to  the  rest,  she  has  been  kept  in  the  background, 
that  her  haughty  sisters  might  flaunt  their  fri])- 
peries  in  the  eyes  of  the  world.  Tlie  parallel  holds 
yet  further.  For  we  are  fast  coming  to  the  deiimie- 
ment^  when  the  positions  will  be  changed  ;  and 
while  these  haughty  sisters  sink  into  merited  neg- 
lect, Science,  proclaimed  as  highest  alike  in  worth 
and  beauty,  will  reign  supreme. 

CHAl^ER  n. 


There  cannot  fail  to  be  a  relationship  between 
the  successive  systems  of  education,  and  the  suc- 
eessiv^e  social  states  with  which  they  have  co-existed. 
Having  a  common  origin  in  the  national  mind,  the 
institutions  of  each  epoch,  whatever  be  their  gpecial 
functions,  must  have  a  family  likeness.  When  men 
received  their  creed  and  its  interpretations  from  an 
infallible  authority  deigning  no  explanations,  it  was 
natural  that  the  teaching  of  children  should  be 
purely  dogmatic.  While  "  believe  and  ask  no 
questions  "  was  the  maxim  of  the  Church,  it  was  fitly 
the  maxim  of  the  school.  Conversely,  now  that 
Protestantism  has  gained  for  adults  a  right  of 
private  judgment  and  established  the  practice  of 
appealing  to  reason,  there  is  harmony  in  the  change 
that  has  made  juvenile  instruction  a  process  of  ex- 
position addressed  to  the  understanding.  Along 
with  j)olitical  despotism,  stern  in  its  commands, 
ruling  by  force  of  terror,  visiting  trifling  crimes 
with  death,  and  implacable  in  its  vengeance  on  the 
disloyal,  there  necessarily  grew  up  an  academic 
discipline  similarly  harsh — a  discipline  of  multiplied 
injunctions  and  blows  for  every  breach  of  them — a 


discipline  of  unlimited  autocracy  iijjlickl  by  rods, 
and  ferules,  and  the  black-hole.  On  the  other  hand, 
the  increase  of  political  liberty,  the  abolition  ot 
law  restricting  individual  action,  and  the  ameliora- 
tion of  the  criminal  code,  have  been  accompanied 
by  a  kindred  progress  towards  non-coercive  educa- 
tion :  the  pupil  is  hampered  by  fewer  restraints, 
and  other  means  than  punishments  are  used  to  gov- 
ern him.  In  those  ascetic  days  when  men,  acting 
on  the  greatest  misery  principle,  held  that  the  more 
gratifications  they  denied  themselves  the  more  vir- 
tuous they  were,  they,  as  a  matter  of  course,  con- 
sidered that  the  best  education  which  most  thwarted 
the  wishes  of  their  children,  and  cut  short  all  spon- 
taneous activity  with — "  You  mustn't  do  so." 
While  on  the  contrary,  now  that  happiness  is  com- 
ing to  be  regarded  as  a  legitimate  aim — now  that 
hours  of  labour  are  being  shortened  and  popular 
recreations  provided,  parents  and  teachers  are  be- 
ginning to  see  that  most  childish  desires  may 
rightly  be  gratified,  that  childish  sports  should  be 
encouraged,  and  that  the  tendencies  of  the  growing 
mind  are  not  altogether  so  diabolical  as  was  sup- 
posed. The  age  in  which  all  thought  that  trades 
nmst  be  established  by  bounties  and  prohibitions  ; 
that  manufacturers  needed  their  materials  and  quali- 
ties and  prices  to  be  prescribed  ;  and  that  the  value 
of  money  could  be  determined  by  law  ;  was  an 
age  which  unavoidably  cherished  the  notions  that 
a  child's-  mind  could  be  made  to  order  ;  that  its 
powers  were  to  be  imparted  by  the  schoolmaster  • 




tliat  it  was  a  receptacle  into  wliicli  knowledge  was 
to  l)e  put  and  there  built  up  after  its  teacher's  ideal. 
In  this  free-trade  era,  however,  when  we  are  learn- 
ing that  there  is  much  more  self- regul  ation  in  things 
tlian  was  supposed  ;  that  labour,  and  commerce, 
and  agriculture,  and  navigation  can  do  better  with- 
out management  than  with  it ;  that  political  gov- 
ernments, to  be  efficient,  must  grow  up  from  within 
and  not  be  imposed  from  without ;  we  are  also 
beginnng  to  see  that  there  is  a  natnral  process  of 
mental  evolution  which  is  not  to  be  disturbed 
without  injury  ;  that  we  may  not  force  on  the  un- 
folding mind  our  artificial  forms  ;  but  that  Psy- 
chology, also,  discloses  to  us  a  law  of  supply  and 
demand,  to  which,  if  we  would  not  do  harm,  we 
must  conform.  Thus  alike  in  its  oracular  dogma- 
tism, in  its  harsh  discipline,  in  its  multiplied  restric- 
tions, in  its  professed  asceticism,  and  in  its  faith  in 
the  devices  of  men,  the  old  educational  regime  was 
akin  to  the  social  systems  with  which  it  was  con- 
temporaneous ;  and  similarly,  in  the  reverse  of  these 
characteristics  our  luodern  modes  of  culture  corre- 
spond to  our  more  liberal  religious  and  political 

But  there  remain  further  parallelisms  to  which 
we  have  not  yet  adverted  :  that,  namely,  between 
the  j)i'Ocesses  by  which  these  respective  changes 
have  been  wrought  out ;  and  that  between  the 
several  states  of  heterogeneous  opinion  to  which 
they  have  led.  Some  centuries  ago  there  was 
Uniformity  of  belief — religious,  political,  and  edu' 


cational.  All  men  -were  llomanists,  all  were 
Monarchists,  all  were  disciples  of  Aristotle,  and  r.o 
one  thonglit  of  calling  in  question  that  grammar- 
school  routine  nnder  which  all  were  brought  up, 
Tlie  same  agency  has  in  each  case  replaced  this 
uniformity  by  a  constantly  increasing  diversity. 
Tliat  tendency  towards  assertion  of  the  individuality, 
which,  after  contributing  to  produce  the  great 
Protestant  movement,  has  since  gone  on  to  produce 
an  ever-increasing  number  of  sects — that  tendency 
which  initiated  political  parties,  and  out  of  the  two 
primary  ones  has,  in  these  modern  days,  evolved  a 
multiplicity  to  which  every  year  adds — that  ten- 
dency which  led  to  the  Baconian  rebellion  against 
the  schools,  and  has  since  originated  here  and 
abroad  sundry  new  systems  of  thought — is  a  ten- 
dency which,  in  education  also,  has  caused  division 
and  the  accumulation  of  methods.  As  external 
consequences  of  the  same  internal  change,  these 
processes  have  necessarily  been  more  or  less  simul- 
taneous. Tlie  decline  of  authority,  whether  papal, 
philosophic,  kingly,  or  tutorial,  is  essentially  one 
phenomenon  ;  in  each  of  its  aspects  a  leaning  tow- 
ards free  action  is  seen  alike  in  the  working  out  of 
the  change  itself,  and  in  the  new  forms  of  theory 
and  practice  to  which  the  change  has  given  birth. 

While  many  will  regret  this  multiplication  of 
schemes  of  juvenile  culture,  the  catholic  observer 
will  discern  in  it  a  means  of  ensuring  the  final  estab- 
lisliment  of  a  rational  system.  Whatever  may  bo 
thought  of  theological  dissent,  it  is  clear  that  dissent 


in  education  results  in  facilitating  inquiry  by  tlie 
division  in  labour.  Were  we  in  possession  of  tlio 
true  method,  divergence  from  it  would,  of  course, 
be  prejudicial ;  but  the  true  method  having  to  be 
found,  the  efforts  of  numerous  independent  seekers 
carrying  out  their  researches  in  different  directions, 
constitute  a  better  agency  for  finding  it  than  any 
that  could  be  devised.  Each  of  them  struck  by 
some  new  thought  which  probably  contains  more 
or  less  of  basis  in  facts — each  of  them  zealous  on 
behalf  of  his  plan,  fertile  in  expedients  to  test 
its  correctness,  and  untiring  in  his  efforts  to  make 
known  its  success — each  of  them  merciless  in  his 
criticism  on  the  rest — there  cannot  fail,  by  composi- 
tion of  forces,  to  be  a  gradual  approximation  of  all 
towards  the  right  course.  Whatever  portion  of  the 
normal  method  any  one  of  them  has  discovered, 
must,  by  the  constant  exhibition  of  its  results,  force 
itself  into  adoption  ;  whatever  wrong  practices  he 
has  joined  with  it  must,  by  rej)eated  experiment  and 
failure,  be  exploded.  And  by  this  aggregation  of 
truths  and  elimination  of  errors,  there  must  eventu- 
ally be  developed  a  correct  and  complete  body  of 
doctrine.  Of  the  three  phases  through  which  human 
opinion  passes — the  unanimity  of  the  ignorant,  the 
disagreement  of  the  inquiring,  and  the  unanimity  of 
the  wise — it  is  manifest  that  the  second  is  the  parent 
of  the  third.  They  are  not  sequences  in  time  only ; 
they  are  sequences  in  causation.  However  impa* 
tiently,  therefore,  we  may  witness  the  present  con- 
flict of  educational  systems,  and  however  much  we 


may  regret  its  accompanying  evils,  we  must  recog* 
nise  it  as  a  transition  stage  needful  to  be  passed 
tlirougli,  and  beneficent  in  its  ultimate  efi'ects. 

Meanwhile  may  we  not  advantageously  take 
stock  of  our  progress  ?  After  fifty  years  of  discus- 
sion, experiment,  and  comparison  of  results,  may 
W3  not  expect  a  few  steps  towards  the  goal  to  be 
already  made  good  ?  Some  old  methods  must  by 
this  time  have  fallen  out  of  use  ;  some  new  ones 
must  have  become  established  ;  and  many  others 
must  be  in  process  of  general  abandonment  or 
adoption.  Probably  we  may  see  in  these  various 
changes,  when  put  side  by  side,  similar  characteris- 
tics— may  find  in  them  a  common  tendency  ;  and 
so,  by  inference,  may  get  a  clue  to  the  direction  in 
which  experience  is  leading  us,  and  gather  hints 
bow  we  may  achieve  yet  further  improvements. 
Let  us  then,  as  a  preliminary  to  a  deeper  considera- 
tion of  the  matter,  glance  at  the  leading  contrasts 
between  the  education  of  the  past  and  of  the  present. 

Tlie  suppression  of  every  error  is  commonly 
followed  by  a  temporary  ascendency  of  the  contrary 
one ;  and  it  so  happened,  that  after  the  ages  when 
physical  development  alone  was  aimed  at^  there 
came  an  age  when  culture  of  the  mind  was  the.sole 
solicitude — when  children  had  lesson-books  put  be- 
fore them  at  between  two  and  three  years  old — when 
school-hours  were  protracted,  and  the  getting  of 
knowledire  was  thoui^ht  the  one  thini)::  needful.  As, 
further,  it  usually  happens,  that  after  one  of  these 
reactions  the  next  advance  is  acliieved  by  co-ordi- 

CrLTUKE    OF   THE    WHOLE   BEING.  103 

hfl,tiHg  the  antagonist  errors,  and  perceiving  that  they 
are  opposite  sides  of  one  truth  ;  so  we  are  now  com- 
ing to  the  conviction  that  body  and  mind  must  both 
be  cared  for,  and  the  whole  being  unfolded.  Tlie 
forcing  system  has  been  in  great  measure  given  np, 
and  precocity  is  discouraged.  People  are  begimiing 
to  see  that  the  lirst  requisite  to  success  in  life,  is  to 
be  a  good  animal.  The  best  brain  is  found  of  little 
service,  if  there  be  not  enough  vital  energy  to  work 
it ;  and  hence  to  obtain  the  one  by  sacrificing  the 
source  of  the  other,  is  now  considered  a  folly — a 
folly  which  the  eventual  failure  of  juvenile  prodigies 
constantly  illustrates.  Thus  we  are  discovering  the 
wisdom  of  the  saying,  that  one  secret  in  education 
is  "  to  know  how  wisely  to  lose  time." 

The  once  universal  practice  of  learning  by  rote, 
is  daily  falling  more  into  discredit.  All  modern 
authorities  condemn  the  old  mechanical  way  of 
teaching  the  alphabet.  The  multiplication  table  is 
now  frequently  taught  experimentally.  In  the  ac- 
quirement of  languages,  the  grammar-school  plan 
is  being  superseded  by  plans  based  on  the  spontane- 
ous process  followed  by  the  child  in  gaining  its 
mother  tongue.  Describing  the  methods  there  used, 
the  "  Reports  on  the  Training  School  at  Battersea  " 
say  : — "  The  instruction  in  the  whole  preparatory 
course  is  chiefly  oral,  and  is  illustrated  as  much  as 
possible  by  appeals  to  nature."  And  so  throughout. 
The  rote-system,  like  other  systems  of  its  age,  made 
more  of  the  forms  and  symbols  than  of  the  things 
symbolized.      To  repeat   the  words  correctly  wa«» 


everything;  to  understand  tlieir  meaning  nothing! 
and  thus  the  si)irit  was  sacrificed  to  the  letter.  It 
is  at  length  perceived,  that  in  this  case  as  in  others, 
such  a  result  is  not  accidental  but  necessary — that 
in  proportion  as  there  is  attention  to  the  signs,  there 
must  be  inattention  to  the  things  signified  ;  or  that, 
as  Montaigne  long  ago  said — Scavoir  jpar  ccBur  rCest 
pas  sgavoir. 

Along  with  rote-teaching,  is  declining  also  the 
nearly  allied  teaching  by  rules.  The  particulars 
first,  and  then  the  generalization,  is  the  new  method 
— a  method,  as  the  Battersea  School  Keports  re- 
mark, which,  though  "  the  reverse  of  the  method 
usually  followed  which  consists  in  giving  the  pupil 
the  rule  first,"  is  yet  proved  by  experience  to  be 
the  right  one.  Itule-teaching  is  now  condemned  as 
imparting  a  merely  empirical  knowledge — as  pro- 
ducing an  appearance  of  understanding  without  the 
reality.  To  give  the  net  product  of  inquiry,  with- 
out the  inquiry  that  leads  to  it,  is  fonnd  to  be  both 
enervating  and  inefficient.  General  truths  to  be  of 
due  and  permanent  use,  must  be  earned.  "  Easy 
come  easy  go,"  is  a  saying  as  applicable  to  knowl- 
edge as  to  wealth.  While  rules,  lying  isolated  in 
the  mind — not  joined  to  its  otlier  contents  as  out- 
growths from  them — are  continually  forgotten,  the 
principles  which  those  rules  express  piecemeal,  be- 
come, when  once  reached  by  the  understanding, 
enduring  possessions.  While  the  rule-taught  youth 
is  at  sea  when  beyond  his  rules,  the  youth  instructed 
in  principles  solves  a  new  case  as  readily  as  an  old 


one.  Between  a  mind  of  rules  and  a  mind  of  prin- 
ciples, there  exists  a  difference  snch  as  that  between 
a  confused  heap  of  materials,  and  the  same  materials 
organized  into  a  complete  whole,  with  all  it^  parts 
bound  together.  Of  which  types  this  last  has  not 
onlj  the  advantage  that  its  constituent  parts  are 
better  retained,  but  the  much  greater  advantage, 
that  it  forms  an  efficient  agent  for  inquiry,  for  inde^ 
pendent  thought,  for  discovery — ends  for  which  the 
first  is  useless.  Xor  let  it  be  supposed  that  this  is 
a  simile  only  :  it  is  the  literal  truth.  The  union  of 
facts  into  generalizations  I's  the  organization  of 
knowledge,  whether  considered  as  an  objective  phe- 
nomenon, or  a  subjective  one :  and  the  mental  grasp 
may  be  measured  by  the  extent  to  which  this  or- 
ganization is  carried. 

From  the  substitution  of  principles  for  rules,  and 
the  necessarily  co-ordinate  practice  of  leaving  ab- 
stractions untaught  until  the  mind  has  been  famil- 
iarized with  the  facts  from  which  they  are  ab- 
stracted, has  resulted  the  postponement  of  some  once 
early  studies  to  a  late  period.  Tliis  is  exemplified 
in  the  abandonment  of  that  intensely  stupid  custom, 
the  teaching  of  grammar  to  children.  As  M.  Mar- 
cel says  : — "  It  may  without  hesitation  be  affirmed 
that  grammar  is  not  the  stepping-stone,  but  the 
finishing  instrument."  As  Mr.  Wyse  argues : — 
"  Grammar  and  Syntax  are  a  collection  of  laws  and 
rules.  Rules  are  gathered  from  practice  ;  they  are 
the  results  of  induction  to  which  we  come  by  long 
observation  and  compai'ison  of  facts.     It  is,  in  fine, 


tlie  science,  the  philosophy  of  language.  In  follow- 
ing the  process  of  nature,  neither  individuals  nor 
nations  ever  arrive  at  the  science  ^Vs^.  A  language 
is  spoken,  and  poetry  written,  many  years  before 
either  a  grammar  or  prosody  is  even  thought  of. 
Men  did  not  wait  till  Aristotle  had  constructed  his 
logic,  to  reason.  In  short,  as  grammar  was  made 
after  language,  so  ought  it  to  be  taught  after  lan- 
guage :  an  inference  which  all  who  recognise  the 
relationship  between  the  evolution  of  the  race  and  of 
the  individual,  will  see  to  be  unavoidable. 

Of  new  practices  that  have  grown  up  during  the 
decline  of  these  old  ones,  the  most  important  is  the 
systematic  culture  of  the  powers  of  observation. 
After  long  ages  of  blindness  men  are  at  last  seeing 
that  the  spontaneous  activity  of  the  observing  fac- 
ulties in  children  has  a  meaning  and  a  use.  What 
was  once  thought  mere  purposeless  action,  or  play, 
or  mischief,  as  the  case  might  be,  is  now  recog- 
nised as  the  process  of  acquiring  a  knowledge  on 
which  all  after-knowledge  is  based.  Hence  the 
well-conceived  but  ill-conducted  system  of  ohject- 
Icssons.  Tlie  saying  of  Bacon,  that  physics  is  the 
mother  of  sciences,  has  come  to  have  a  meaning 
in  education.  Without  an  accurate  acquaintance 
with  the  visible  and  tangible  properties  of  things, 
our  conceptions  must  be  erroneous,  our  inferences 
fallacious,  and  our  operations  unsuccessful.  "  The 
education  of  the  senses  neglected,  all  after  education 
partakes  of  a  drowsiness,  a  haziness,  an  insufficiency 
which  it  is  impossible  to  cure."     Indeed,  if  we  con- 



sider  it,  we  shall  find  tliat  exliaiistive  observation  is 
an  element  in  all  great  success.  It  is  not  to  artists, 
naturalists,  and  men  of  science  only,  that  it  is  need- 
ful ;  it  is  not  only  that  the  skilful  physician  depends 
on  it  for  the  correctness  of  his  diagnosis,  and  that 
to  the  good  engineer  it  is  so  important  that  some 
years  in  the  workshop  are  prescribed  for  him  ;  but 
we  may  see  that  the  philosopher  also  is  fundamen- 
tally one  who  observes  relationships  of  things  which 
others  had  overlooked,  and  that  the  poet,  too,  is  one 
who  sees  the  fine  facts  in  nature  which  all  recognise 
when  pointed  out,  but  did  not  before  remark.  Noth- 
ing requires  more  to  be  insisted  on  than  that  vivid 
and  complete  impressions  are  all  essential.  No 
sound  fabric  of  wisdom  can  be  woven  out  of  a  rot- 
ten raw-material. 

While  the  old  method  of  presenting  truths  in 
the  abstract  has  been  falling  out  of  use,  there  has 
been  a  corresponding  adoption  of  the  new  method 
of  presenting  them  in  the  concrete.  Tlie  rudimen- 
tary facts  of  exact  science  are  now  being  learnt  by 
direct  intuition,  as  textures,  and  tastes,  and  colours 
are  learnt.  Employing  the  ball-frame  for  first  les- 
sons in  arithmetic  exemplifies  this.  It  is  well  illus- 
trated, too,  in  Professor  De  Morgan's  mode  of  ex- 
plaining the  decimal  notation.  M.  Marcel,  rightly 
repudiating  the  old  system  of  tables,  teaches  weiglits 
and  measures  by  referring  to  the  actual  yard  and 
foot,  pound  and  ounce,  gallon  and  quart ;  and  lets 
the  discovery  of  their  relationships  be  experimental. 
The  use  of  geographical  models  and  models  of  the 


regular  bodies,  &c.  as  introductory  to  geography 
and  geometry  respectively,  are  facts  of  the  same 
class.  Manifestly  a  common  trait  of  these  methods 
is,  that  they  carry  each  child's  mind  through  a  pro- 
cess like  that  which  the  mind  of  humanity  at  large 
has  gone  through.  The  truths  of  number,  of  form, 
of  relationship  in  position,  were  all  originally  drawn 
from  objects;  and  to  present  these  truths  to  the 
child  in  the  concrete  is  to  let  him  learn  them  as  the 
race  learnt  them.  By  and  by,  perhaps,  it  will  be 
seen  that  he  cannot  possibly  learn  them  in  any  other 
way ;  for  that  if  he  is  made  to  repeat  them  as  ab- 
stractions, the  abstractions  can  have  no  meaning  for 
him,  until  he  finds  that  they  are  simply  statements 
of  what  he  intuitively  discerns. 

But  of  all  the  changes  taking  place,  the  most 
significant  is  the  growing  desire  to  make  the  acquire- 
ment of  knowledge  pleasurable  rather  than  painful 
— a  desire  based  on  the  more  or  less  distinct  percep- 
tion that  at  each  age  the  intellectual  action  which 
a  child  likes  is  a  healthful  one  for  it ;  and  con- 
versely. There  is  a  spreading  opinion  that  the  rise 
of  an  appetite  for  any  kind  of  knowledge  implies 
that  the  unfolding  mind  has  become  fit  to  assimilate 
it,  and  needs  it  for  the  purposes  of  growth  ;  and 
that  on  the  other  hand,  the  disgust  felt  towards  any 
kind  of  knowledge  is  a  sign  either  that  it  is  prema- 
turely presented,  or  that  it  is  presented  in  an  indi- 
gestible form.  Hence  the  efforts  to  make  early 
education  amusing,  and  all  education  interesting. 
Hence  the  lectures  on  the  value  of  play.     Hence 


the  defence  of  nursery  rhymes,  and  fairy  tales. 
Daily  we  more  and  more  conform  our  plans  to  ju- 
venile opinion.  Does  the  child  like  this  or  that  kind 
of  teaching  ?  does  he  take  to  it  ?  we  constantly  ask. 
"  His  natural  desire  of  variety  should  be  indulged," 
says  M.  Marcel ;  "  and  the  gratification  of  his  curi- 
osity should  be  combined  with  his  improvement." 
"  Lessons,"  he  again  remarks,  "  should  cease  before 
the  child  evinces  symptoms  of  weariness."  And  so 
with  later  education.  Short  breaks  during  school- 
hours,  excursions  into  the  country,  amusing  lectures, 
choral  songs — in  these  and  many  like  traits,  the 
change  may  be  discerned.  Asceticism  is  disapj)ear- 
ing  out  of  education  as  out  of  life  ;  and  the  usual 
test  of  political  legislation — its  tendency  to  pi'omote 
happiness — ^is  beginning  to  be,  in  a  great  degree, 
the  test  of  legislation  for  the  school  and  the  nursery. 
"What  now  is  the  common  characteristic  of  these 
several  changes  ?  Is  it  not  an  increasing  conformity 
to  the  methods  of  nature  ?  The  relinquishment  of 
early  forcing  against  which  nature  ever  rebels,  and 
the  leaving  of  the  iirst  years  for  exercise  of  the 
limbs  and  senses,  show  this.  The  superseding  of 
rote-learnt  lessons  by  lessons  orally  and  experimen- 
tally given,  like  those  of  the  field  and  play -ground, 
shows  this.  The  disuse  of  rule-teaching,  and  the 
adoption  of  teaching  by  principles — that  is,  the 
leaving  of  generalizations  until  there  are  particulars 
to  base  them  on — show  this.  The  system  of  object- 
lessons  shows  this.  The  teaching  of  the  rudiments 
of  science  in  the  concrete  instead  of  the  abstract, 


shows  tliis.  And  above  all,  this  tendency  is  sho^rn 
in  the  variously  directed  efibrts  to  present  knowl- 
edge in  attractive  forms,  and  so  to  make  the  ac- 
quirement of  it  pleasurable.  For  as  it  is  the  order 
of  nature  in  all  creatures  that  the  gratification  ac- 
companying the  fulfilment  of  needful  functions 
serves  as  a  stimulus  to.  their  fulfilment — as  during 
the  self-education  of  the  young  child,  the  delight 
taken  in  the  biting  of  corals,  and  the  pulling  to 
pieces  of  toys,  becomes  the  prompter  to  actions 
which  teach  it  the  properties  of  matter ;  it  follows 
that,  in  choosing  the  succession  of  subjects  and  the 
modes  of  instruction  which  most  interest  the  pupil, 
we  are  fulfilling  nature's  behests,  and  adjusting  our 
proceedings  to  the  laws  of  life. 

Thus,  then,  we  are  on  the  highway  towards  the 
doctrine  long  ago  enunciated  by  Pestalozzi,  that 
alike  in  its  order  and  its  methods,  education  must 
conform  to  the  natural  process  of  mental  evolution 
— that  there  is  a  certain  sequence  in  which  the  facul- 
ties spontaneously  develop,  and  a  certain  kind  of 
knowledge  which  each  requires  during  its  develop- 
ment ;  and  that  it  is  for  us  to  ascertain  this  sequence, 
and  supply  this  knowledge.  All  the  improvements 
above  alluded  to  are  partial  applications  of  this 
general  principle.  A  nebulous  jDerception  of  it 
now  prevails  among  teachers  ;  and  it  is  daily  more 
insisted  on  in  educational  works.  "  The  method  of 
nature  is  the  archetype  of  all  methods,"  says  M. 
Marcel.  "  The  vital  principle  in  the  pursuit  is  to 
enable  the  pupil  rightly  to  instruct  himself,"  writes 


Mr.  Wjse.  Tlie  more  science  familiarizes  us  with 
the  constitution  of  things  the  more  do  we  see  in 
them  an  inherent  self-sufficingness.  A  higher 
knowledge  tends  continually  to  limit  our  interfer-. 
ence  with  the  processes  of  life.  As  in  medicine  tlie 
old  "  heroic  treatment "  has  given  place  to  mild 
treatment,  and  often  no  treatment  save  a  normal  re- 
gimen— as  we  have  found  that  it  is  not  needful  to 
mould  the  bodies  of  babes  by  bandaging  them  in 
papoose  fashion  or  otherwise — as  in  gaols  it  is  being 
discovered  that  no  cunningly  devised  discipline  of 
ours  is  so  efficient  in  producing  reformation  as  the 
natural  discipline,  the  making  prisoners  maintain 
themselves  by  productive  labour  ;  so  in  education 
we  are  finding  that  success  is  to  be  achieved  only 
by  rendering  our  measures  subservient  to  that  spon- 
taneous unfolding  which  all  minds  go  through  in 
their  progress  to  maturity. 

Of  course,  this  fundamental  principle  of  tuition, 
that  the  arrangement  of  matter  and  method  must 
correspond  with  the  order  of  evolution  and  mode 
of  activity  of  the  faculties — a  principle  so  obviously 
true,  that  once  stated  it  seems  almost  self-evident — 
has  never  been  wholly  disregarded.  Teachers  have 
unavoidably  made  their  school-courses  coincide  with 
it  in  some  degree,  for  the  simple  reason  that  educa- 
tion is  possible  only  on  that  condition.  Boys  were 
never  taught  the  rule-of-three  until  after  they  had 
learnt  addition.  Tliey  were  not  set  to  write  exer- 
cises before  they  had  got  into  their  copy-books. 
Conic  sections  have  always  been  jireceded  by  Eu- 


did.  But  the  error  of  the  old  methods  consists  in 
tliis,  that  they  do  not  recofjiiise  in  detail  what  they 
are  obliged  to  recognise  in  the  general.  Yet  the 
principle  applies  throughout.  If  from  the  time 
when  a  child  is  aLle  to  conceive  tM'o  things  as  re- 
lated in  position,  years  must  elapse  before  it  can 
form  a  true  concept  of  the  earth,  as  a  sphere  made 
up  of  land  and  sea,  covered  with  mountains,  forests, 
rivers,  and  cities,  revolving  on  its  axis,  and  sweep- 
ing round  the  sun — if  it  gets  from  the  one  concept 
to  the  other  by  degrees — if  the  intermediate  concepts 
which  it  forms  are  consecutively  larger  and  more 
complicated  ;  is  it  not  manifest  that  there  is  a  gen- 
eral succession  through  which  only  it  can  pass ; 
that  each  larger  concept  is  made  by  the  combina- 
tion of  smaller  ones,  and  presupposes  them  ;  and 
that  to  present  any  of  these  compound  concepts  be- 
fore the  child  is  in  possession  of  its  constituent 
ones,  is  only  less  absurd  than  to  present  the  final 
concept  of  the  series  before  the  initial  one  ?  In  the 
mastering  of  every  subject  some  course  of  increasing- 
ly complex  ideas  has  to  be  gone  through.  Tlie  evo- 
lution of  the  corresponding  faculties  consists  in  the 
assimilation  of  these ;  which,  in  any  true  sense,  is 
impossible  without  they  are  put  into  the  mind  in 
the  normal  order.  And  when  this  order  is  not  fol- 
lowed, the  result  is,  that  they  are  received  with 
apathy  or  disgust ;  and  that  unless  the  pupil  is  in- 
telligent enough  to  eventually  fill  uj)  the  gaps  him- 
self, they  lie  in  his  memory  as  dead  facts,  capable 
of  beinof  turned  to  little  or  no  use. 

GUIDANCE    NOT    TO    BE    DISPENSED    M'lTII.  110 

"  But  wliy  trouble  ourselves  about  any  curri- 
culum at  all  i  "  it  may  be  asked.  "  If  it  be  true 
that  tlie  mind  like  the  body  has  a  predetermined 
course  of  evolution, — if  it  unfolds  spontaneously — • 
if  its  successive  desires  for  this  or  that  kind  of  in- 
formation arise  when  these  are  severally  required 
for  its  nutrition, — if  there  thus  exists  in  itself  a 
prompter  to  the  right  species  of  activity  at  the 
right  time  ;  why  interfere  in  any  way  ?  Why  not 
leave  children  vAolhj  to  the  discipline  of  nature  I — 
why  not  remain  quite  passive  and  let  them  get 
knowledge  as  they  best  can  ? — why  not  be  consistent 
throughout  ?  "  Tliis  is  an  awkward  looking  ques- 
tion. Plausibly  implying  as  it  does,  that  a  system 
of  complete  Zrm'6'<?2;/r«Ve  is  the  logical  outcome  of 
the  doctrines  set  forth,  it  seems  to  furnish  a  disproof 
of  them  by  reductio  ad  absurdum.  In  truth,  how- 
ever, they  do  not,  when  rightly  understood,  commit 
us  to  any  such  untenable  position.  A  glance  at 
the  physical  analogies  will  clearly  show  this.  It  is 
a  general  law  of  all  life  that  the  more  complex  the 
organism  to  be  produced,  the  longer  the  period 
during  which  it  is  dependent  on  a  parent  organism 
for  food  and  protection.  Tlio  contrast  between  the 
minute,  rapidly-formed,  and  self-moving  spore  of  a 
conferva,  and  the  slowly  developed  seed  of  a  tree, 
with  its  ]nultiplied  envelopes  and  large  stock  of 
nutriment  laid  by  to  nourish  the  germ  during  its 
first  stages  of  growth,  illustrates  this  law  in  its 
application  to  the  vegetable  world.  Among  animal 
organisms   we  may   trace  it  in  a  series   of  coii- 


trasts  from  the  monad  whose  spontaneously-divided 
halves  are  as  self-sufficing  the  moment  after  their 
separation  as  was  the  original  whole ;  np  to  man, 
whose  off'spring  not  only  passes  through  a  protracted 
gestation,  and  subsequently  long  depends  on  the 
breast  for  sustenance ;  but  after  that  must  have 
its  food  artificially  administered ;  must,  after  it 
has  learned  to  feed  itself,  continne  to  have  bread, 
clothing,  and  shelter  provided  ;  and  does  not  acquire 
the  power  of  complete  self-support  nntil  a  time 
varying  from  fifteen  to  twenty  years  after  its  birth. 
Now  this  law  applies  to  the  mind  as  to  the  body. 
For  mental  pabulum  also,  every  higher  creature, 
and  especially  man,  is  at  first  dependent  on  adult 
aid.  Lacking  the  ability  to  move  about,  the  babe 
is  as  powerless  to  get  materials  on  which  to  exer- 
cise its  perceptions  as  it  is  to  get  sujDplies  for  its 
stomach.  Unable  to  prepare  its  own  food,  it  is  in 
like  manner  unable  to  reduce  many  kinds  of  knowl- 
edge to  a  fit  form  for  assimilation.  Tlie  language 
through  which  all  higher  truths  are  to  be  gained  it 
wholly  derives  from  those  surrounding  it.  And 
we  see  in  such  an  example  as  the  Wild  Boy  of 
Aveyron,  the  arrest  of  development  that  results 
when  no  help  is  received  from  parents  and  nurses. 
Thus,  in  providing  from  day  to  day  the  right  kind 
of  facts,  prepared  in  the  right  manner,  and  giving 
them  in  due  abundance  at  appropriate  intervals, 
there  is  as  much  scope  for  active  ministration  to  a 
child's  mind  as  to  its  body.  In  either  case  it  is 
the  chief  function  of  parents  to  see  that  die  condi- 


tions  requisite  to  growth  are  maintained.  And,  as 
in  supplying  aliment,  and  clothing,  and  shelter, 
they  may  fulfil  this  function  without  at  all  inter- 
fering with  the  spontaneous  development  of  the 
limbs  and  viscera  either  in  their  order  or  mode  ;  so 
they  may  supply  sounds  for  imitation,  objects  for 
examination,  books  for  reading,  problems  for  solu- 
tion, and,  if  they  use  neither  direct  nor  indirect 
coercion,  may  do  this  without  in  any  way  disturb- 
ing the  normal  process  of  mental  evolution  ;  or 
rather,  may  greatly  facilitate  that  process.  Hence 
the  admission  of  the  doctrines  enunciated  does  not, 
as  some  might  argue,  involve  the  abandonment  of 
all  teaching  ;  but  leaves  ample  room  for  an  active 
and  elaborate  course  of  culture. 

Passing  from  generalities  to  special  considera- 
tions it  is  to  be  ronarked  that  in  practice,  the  Pes- 
talozzinn  system  seems  scarcely  to  have  fulfilled  the 
promise  of  its  theory.  We  hear  of  children  not  at 
all  interested  in  its  lessons, — disgusted  with  them 
rather ;  and,  so  far  as  we  can  gather,  the  Pestaloz- 
zian  schools  have  not  turned  out  any  unusual  pro- 
portion of  distinguished  men, — if  even  they  have 
reached  the  average.  We  are  not  surprised  at  this. 
The  success  of  every  appliance  depends  mainly  upon 
the  intelligence  with  which  it  is  used.  It  is  a  trite 
remark,  tJiat,  having  the  choicest  tools,  an  unskilful 
artisan  will  botch  his  work  ;  and  bad  teachers  will 
fail  even  with  the  best  methods.  Indeed,  the  good- 
ness of  the  method  becomes  in  such  case  a  cause  of 


failure  ;  as,  to  continue  the  simile,  the  perfection  oi 
the  tool  becomes  in  undisciplined  hands  a  source  of 
imperfection  in  results.  A  simple,  unchanging, 
almost  mechanical  routine  of  tuition  may  be  carried 
out  by  the  commonest  intellects,  •with  such  small 
beneficial  effect  as  it  is  capable  of  producing  ;  but 
a  complete  system, — a  system  as  heterogeneous  in 
its  appliances  as  the  mind  in  its  faculties, — a  system 
proposing  a  special  means  for  each  special  end,  de- 
mands for  its  right  employment  powers  such  as  few 
teachers  possess.  Tlie  mistress  of  a  dame-school  can 
hear  spelling-lessons ;  any  hedge-schoolmaster  can 
drill  boys  in  the  multiplication-table  ;  but  to  teach 
spelling  rightly  by  using  the  powers  of  the  letters 
instead  of  their  names,  or  to  instruct  in  numerical 
combinations  by  experimental  synthesis,  a  modicum 
of  understanding  is  needful :  and  to  pursue  a  like 
rational  course  throughout  the  entire  range  of 
studies,  asks  an  amount  of  judgment,  of  invention, 
of  intellectual  sympathy,  of  analytical  faculty, 
which  we  shall  never  see  applied  to  it  while  the 
tutorial  office  is  held  in  such  small  esteem.  The 
true  education  is  practicable  only  to  the  true  philos- 
opher. Judge,  then,  what  prospect  a  philosophical 
method  now  has  of  being  acted  out !  Knowing  so 
little  as  we  yet  do  of  Psychology,  and  ignorant  as 
our  teachers  are  of  that  little,  what  chance  has  a 
system  which  requires  Psychology  for  its  basis  ? 

Further  hindrance  and  discouragement  has  arisen 
from  confounding  the  Pestalozzian  principle  with 
the  forms  in  which  it  has  been  embodied.     Because 


particular  plans  have  not  answered  expectation, 
discredit  has  been  cast  upon  the  doctrine  associated 
with  them  ;  no  inquiry  being  made  whether  these 
plans  truly  conform  to  such  doctrine.  Judging  as 
usual  by  the  concrete  rather  than  the  abstract,  men 
have  blamed  the  theory  for  the  bunglings  of  the 
practice.  It  is  as  though  Papin's  futile  attempt  to 
construct  a  steam-engine  had  been  held  to  prove 
that  steam  could  not  be  used  as  a  motive  power. 
Let  it  be  constantly  borne  in  mind  that  while  right 
in  his  fundamental  ideas  Pestalozzi  was  not  there- 
fore right  in  all  his  applications  of  them :  and  we 
believe  the  fact  to  be  that  he  was  often  wrong.  As 
described  even  by  his  admirers,  Pestalozzi  was  a 
man  of  partial  intuitions,  a  man  who  had  occasional 
flashes  of  insight,  rather  than  a  man  of  systematic 
thought.  His  first  great  success  at  Stantz  was 
achieved  when  he  had  no  books  or  appliances  of 
ordinary  teaching,  and  vrhen  "  the  only  object  of 
his  attention  was  to  find  out  at  each  moment  what 
instruction  his  children  stood  peculiarly  in  need  of, 
and  what  was  the  best  manner  of  connecting  it  with 
the  knowledge  they  already  possessed."  Much  of 
his  power  was  due,  not  to  calmly  reasoned-out  plans 
of  culture,  but  to  his  profound  sympathy,  which 
gave  him  an  instinctive  perception  of  childish  needs 
and  difiiculties.  He  lacked  the  ability  logically  to 
co-ordinate  and  develop  the  truths  which  he  thus 
from  time  to  time  laid  hold  of ;  and  had  in  great 
measure  to  leave  this  to  his  assistants,  Kruesi,  Tob- 
ler,  Buss,  Niederer,  and  Schmid.     The  result  is  that 


in  their  details  his  own  phms,  and  those  vicariously 
devised,  contain  numerous  crudities  and  incon- 
sistencies. His  nursery -method,  described  in  "  The 
Mother's  Manual,"  beginning  as  it  does  with  a 
nomenclature  of  the  difl'erent  parts  of  the  body,  and 
proceeding  next  to  specify  their  relative  positions, 
and  next  -their  connexions,  may  be  proved  not  at  all 
in  accordance  with  the  initial  stages  of  mental  evo- 
lution. His  process  of  teaching  the  mother  tongue 
by  formal  exercises  in  the  meanings  of  words  and 
in  the  construction  of  sentences,  is  quite  needless, 
and  must  entail  on  the  pupil  loss  of  time,  labour, 
and  happiness.  His  proposed  mode  of  teaching 
geography  is  utterly  unpestalozzian.  And  often 
where  his  plans  are  essentially  sound  they  are  either 
incomplete  or  vitiated  by  some  remnant  of  the  old 
regime.  While,  therefore,  we  would  defend  in  its 
entire  extent  the  general  doctrine  which  Pestalozzi 
inauo-urated,  we  think  m-eat  evil  likelv  to  result  from 
an  uncritical  reception  of  his  specific  devices.  That 
tendency  which  mankind  constantly  exhibit  to 
canonize  the  forms  and  practices  along  with  which 
any  great  truth  has  been  bequeathed  to  them, — 
their  liability  to  prostrate  their  intellects  before  the 
prophet,  and  swear  by  his  every  word, — their  prone- 
ness  to  mistake  the  clothing  of  the  idea  for  the  idea 
itself;  renders  it  needful  to  insist  strongly  upon 
the  distinction  between  the  fundamental  principle 
of  the  Pestalozzian  system,  and  the  set  of  expedients 
devised  for  its  practice :  and  to  suggest  that  while 
the  one  may  be  considered  as  established,  the  other 


is  probably  notbing  but  an  achiinbration  of  tbe 
normal  course.  Indeed,  on  looking  at  tbe  state  of 
our  knowledge  we  may  be  quite  sure  tliat  tins  is 
the  case.  Before  our  educational  methods  can  be 
made  to  harmonize  in  character  and  arrangement 
with  the  faculties  in  their  mode  and  order  of  unfold- 
ing, it  is  first  needful  that  we  ascertain  with  some 
completeness  how  the  faculties  do  unfold.  At  pres- 
ent our  knowledge  of  the  matter  extends  only  to 
a  few  general  notions.  These  general  notions  must 
be  developed  in  detail, — must  be  transformed  into 
a  multitude  of  specific  propositions,  before  we  can 
be  said  to  possess  that  science  on  which  the  art  of 
education  must  be  based.  And  then  when  we  have 
definitely  made  out  in  what  succession,  and  in  what 
combinations  the  mental  powers  become  active,  it 
remains  to  choose  out  of  the  many  possible  ways  of 
exercising  each  of  them  that  w^hich  best  conforms 
to  its  natural  mode  of  action.  Evidently,  therefore, 
it  is  not  to  be  supposed  that  even  our  most  advanced 
modes  of  teachiug  are  the  right  ones,  or  nearly  tli3 
right  ones. 

Bearing  in  mind  tlien  this  distinction  between 
tbe  principle  and  the  practicxi  of  Pestalozzi,  and  in- 
ferring from  the  grounds  assigned  that  the  last  must 
necessarily  be  very  detective,  the  reader  will  rate  at 
its  true  worth  the  dissatisfaction  wnth  the  system 
whicb  some  have  expressed  ;  and  will  see  that  the 
due  realization  of  the  Pestalozzian  idea  remains 
to  be  achieved.  Should  he  argue,  however,  from 
what  has  just  been  said  that  no  such  realization  is 


at  present  practicable,  and  tliat  all  effort  ought  to 
be  devoted  to  the  preliiiiiiiary  inquiry  ;  we  reply, 
that  though  it  is  not  possilde  for  a  scheme  of  culture 
to  be  perfected  either  in  matter  or  form  until  a  ra- 
tional Psychology  has  been  established,  it  is  possible, 
with  the  aid  of  certain  guiding  principles,  to  make 
empirical  approximations  towards  a  j^erfect  scheme. 
To  prepare  the  way  for  further  research  we  will 
now  specify  these  principles.  Some  of  them  have 
already  been  more  or  less  distinctly  implied  in  the 
foregoing  pages  ;  but  it  will  be  well  here  to  state 
them  all  in  logical  order. 

1.  Tliat  in  education  we  should  proceed  from 
the  simple  to  the  complex  is  a  truth  which  has 
always  been  to  some  extent  acted  upon  ;  not  pro- 
fessedly, indeed,  nor  by  any  means  consistently. 
The  mind  grows.  Like  all  things  that  grow  it  pro- 
gresses from  the  homogeneous  to  the  heterogeneous ; 
and  a  normal  training  system  being  an  objective 
counterpart  of  this  subjective  process,  must  exhibit 
the  like  progression.  Moreover,  regarding  it  from 
this  point  of  view,  we  may  see  that  this  formula 
has  much  wider  applications  than  at  first  appears. 
For  its  rationale  involves  not  only  that  we  should 
proceed  from  the  single  to  the  combined  in  the 
teaching  of  each  branch  of  knowledge  ;  but  that 
we  should  do  the  like  with  knowledge  as  a  whole. 
As  the  mind,  consisting  at  first  of  but  few  active 
faculties  ;  has  its  later-completed  faculties  succes- 
sively awakened,  and  ultimately  comes  to  have  all 


its  faculties  in  simultaneous  action  ;  it  follows  that 
our  teaching  should  begin  with  but  few  subjects  at 
once,  and  successively  adding  to  these,  should  finally 
carry  on  all  subjects  abreast — that  not  only  in  its 
details  should  education  proceed  from  the  simple  to 
the  complex,  but  in  its  ensemble  also. 

2.  To  say  that  our  lessons  ought  to  start  from 
the  concrete  and  end  in  the  abstract,  may  be  con- 
sidered as  in  part  a  repetition  of  the  foregoing, 
Nevertheless  it  is  a  maxim  that  needs  to  be  stated  : 
if  with  no  other  view,  then  with  the  view  of  shew- 
ing  in  certain  cases  what  are  truly  the  simple  and 
the  complex.  For  unfortunately  there  has  been 
much  misunderstanding  on  this  point.  General 
formulas  which  men  have  devised  to  express  groui)s 
of  details,  and  which  have  severally  simplified  their 
conceptions  by  uniting  many  facts  into  one  fact, 
they  have  supposed  must  simplify  the  conceptions 
of  the  child  also  ;  quite  forgetting  that  a  generali- 
zation is  simple  only  in  comparison  with  the  whole 
mass  of  particular  truths  it  comprehends — that  it  is 
more  complex  than  any  one  of  these  truths  taken 
singly — that  only  after  many  of  these  single  truths 
have  been  acquired  does  the  generalization  ease  the 
memory  and  help  the  reason — and  that  to  the  child 
not  possessing  these  single  truths  it  is  necessarily  a 
mystery.  Thus  confounding  two  kinds  of  simplifi- 
cation, teachers  have  constantly  erred  by  setting 
out  with  "  first  principles  "  :  a  proceeding  essen- 
tially, though  not  apparently,  at  variance  with  the 
primary  rule  ;  which  implies  that  the  mind  should 


be  introduced  to  principles  through  the  medium  of 
examples,  and  so  sliould  be  led  from  the  particular 
to  the  general — from  the  concrete  to  the  abstract. 

3.  The  education  of  the  child  must  accord  both 
in  mode  and  arrangement  with  the  education  of 
mankind  as  considered  historically  ;  or  in  other 
words,  the  genesis  of  knowledge  in  the  individual 
must  follow  the  same  course  as  the  genesis  of  knowl- 
edge in  the  race.  To  M.  Comte  we  believe  society 
owes  the  enunciation  of  this  doctrine — a  doctrine 
which  we  may  accept  Avithout  conmiitting  onrselves 
to  his  theory  of  the  genesis  of  knowledge,  either  in 
its  causes  or  its  order.  In  support  of  this  doctrine 
two  reasons  may  be  assigned,  either  of  them  suffi- 
cient to  establish  it.  One  is  deducible  from  the 
law  of  hereditary  transmission  as  considered  in  its 
wider  consequences.  For  if  it  be  true  that  men 
exhibit  likeness  to  ancestry  both  in  aspect  and  char- 
acter— if  it  be  true  that  certain  mental  manifesta- 
tions, as  insanity,  will  occur  in  successive  members  of 
the  same  family  at  the  same  age — if,  passing  from 
individual  cases  in  which  the  traits  of  many  dead 
ancestors  mixing  with  those  of  a  few  living  ones 
greatly  obscure  the  law,  we  turn  to  national  types, 
and  remark  how  the  contrasts  between  them  are 
persistent  from  age  to  age — if  we  remember  that 
these  respective  types  came  from  a  common  stock, 
and  that  hence  the  present  marked  differences  be- 
tween them  must  have  arisen  from  the  action  of 
modifying  circumstances  upon  successive  genera- 
tions who   severally  transmitted  the  accumulated 


effects  to  their  descendants — if  we  find  the  differ- 
ences to  be  now  organic,  so  tliat  the  French  child 
grows  into  a  French  man  even  when  brought  up 
among  strangers — and  if  the  general  fact  thus  illus^ 
trated  is  true  of  the  whole  nature,  intellect  inclusive ; 
then  it  follows  that  if  there  be  an  order  in  Avhich 
the  human  race  has  mastered  its  various  kinds  ot 
knowledge,  there  will  arise  in  every  child  an  apti- 
tude to  acquire  these  kinds  of  knowledge  in  the 
same  order.  So  that  even  were  the  order  intrinsi- 
cally indifferent,  it  would  facilitate  education  to 
lead  the  individual  mind  through  the  steps  traversed 
by  the  general  mind.  But  the  order  is  not  intrin- 
sically indifferent ;  and  hence  the  fundamental  rea- 
son why  education  should  be  a  repetition  of  civili- 
sation in  little.  It  is  alike  provable  that  the  his- 
torical sequence  was,  in  its  main  outlines,  a  neces- 
sary one  ;  and  that  the  causes  which  determined  it 
apply  to  the  child  as  to  the  race,  Not  to  specify 
these  causes  in  detail,  it  will  suffice  here  to  point 
out  that  as  the  mind  of  humanity  placed  in  the 
midst  of  phenomena  and  striving  to  comprehend 
them,  has,  after  endless  comparisons,  speculations, 
•experiments,  and  theories,  reached  its  present 
knowledge  of  each  subject  by  a  specific  route ;  it 
may  rationally  be  inferred  that  the  relationship  be- 
tween mind  and  phenomena  is  such  as  to  prevent 
this  knowledge  from  being  reached  by  any  other 
route  ;  and  that  as  each  child's  mind  stands  in  this 
same  relationsliip  to  jjhenomena,  they  can  be  acces- 
sible to  ii  only  through  the  same  route.     Hence  in 


deciding  upon  the  right  method  of  education,  an 
inquiry  into  tlic  metliod  of  civilisation  will  help  to 
guide  us. 

4.  One  of  the  conclusions  to  which  such  an  in- 
quiry leads  is,  that  in  each  branch  of  instruction 
we  should  proceed  from  the  empirical  to  the  rational. 
A  leading  fact  in  human  progress  is,  that  every 
science  is  evolved  out  of  its  corresponding  art.  It 
results  from  the  necessity  we  are  under,  both  indi- 
vidually and  as  a  race,  of  reaching  the  abstract  by 
way  of  the  concrete,  that  there  must  be  practice  and 
an  accruing  experience  with  its  empirical  generali- 
zations, before  there  can  be  science.  Science  is 
organized  knowledge  ;  and  before  knowledge  can 
be  organized,  some  of  it  must  first  be  possessed. 
Every  study,  therefore,  should  have  a  purely  exper- 
imental introduction ;  and  only  after  an  ample 
fund  of  observations  has  been  accumulated,  should 
reasoning  begin.  As  illustrative  applications  of  this 
rule,  we  may  instance  the  modern  course  of  placing 
grammar,  not  before  language,  but  after  it ;  or  the 
ordinary  custom  of  prefacing  perspective  by  practi- 
cal drawing.  By  and  by  further  applications  of  it 
will  be  indicated. 

5.  A  second  corollary  from  the  foregoing  gen- 
eral principle,  and  one  wliich  cannot  be  too  sti'enu- 
ously  insisted  upon,  is,  that  in  education  the  process 
of  self-development  should  be  encouraged  to  the 
fullest  extent.  Children  should  be  led  to  make 
their  o^vn  investigations,  and  to  draw  their  own  in- 
ferences.    Tliey  shouM  be  told  as  little  as  possible, 


and  induced  to  discover  as  mncli  as  possible.  Hu- 
manity lias  progressed  solely  by  self-instruction  ; 
and  that  to  achieve  the  best  results^  each  mind  must 
progress  somewhat  after  the  same  fashion,  is  con- 
tinually proved  by  the  marked  success  of  self-made 
men.  Those  who  have  been  brought  up  under  the 
ordinary  school-drill,  and  have  carried  away  with 
them  the  idea  that  education  is  practicable  only  in 
that  style,  will  think  it  hopeless  to  make  children 
their  own  teachers.  If,  however,  they  will  call  to 
mind  that  the  all-important  knowledge  of  surround- 
ing objects  which  a  child  gets  in  its  early  years  is 
got  without  help — if  they  will  remember  that  the 
child  is  self-taught  in  the  use  of  its  mother  tongue 
— if  they  will  estimate  the  amount  of  that  experi- 
ence of  life,  that  out-of-school  wisdom,  which  every 
boy  gathers  for  himself — if  they  will  mark  the 
unusual  intelligence  of  the  uncared-for  London 
gamin^  as  shewn  in  all  the  directions  in  which  his 
faculties  have  been  tasked — if  further,  they  will 
think  how  many  minds  have  struggled  up  unaided, 
not  only  through  the  mysteries  of  our  irrationally- 
pianned  curriculum,  but  through  hosts  of  other  ob- 
stacles besides  ;  they  will  find  it  a  not  unreasonable 
conclusion,  that  if  the  subjects  be  put  before  him  in 
right  order  and  right  form,  any  pupil  of  ordinary  ca- 
pacity will  surmount  his  successive  difficulties  with 
but  little  assistance.  Who  indeed  can  watch  the 
ceaseless  observation,  and  inquiry,  and  inference  go- 
ing on  in  a  child's  mind,  or  listen  to  its  acute  remarks 
on  matters  within  the  range  of  its  faculties,  without 


perceiving  tliat  tliese  powers  wliich  it  manifests,  if 
brouglit  to  bear  systematically  Tipon  any  studies 
witliin  the  same  range^  would  readily  master  them 
without  help  ?  This  need  f  )r  peri)etual  telling  is 
the  result  of  our  stupidity,  not  of  the  child's.  We 
drag  it  away  from  the  facts  in  which  it  is  interested, 
and  which  it  is  actively  assimilating  of  itself;  we 
put  before  it  facts  far  too  complex  for  it  to  under- 
stand, and  therefore  distasteful  to  it ;  finding  that 
it  will  not  voluntarily  acquire  these  facts,  we 
thrust  them  into  its  mind  by  force  of  threats  and 
punishment ;  by  thus  denying  the  knowledge  it 
craves,  and  cramming  it  with  knowledge  it  cannot 
digest,  we  produce  a  morbid  state  of  its  faculties, 
and  a  consequent  disgust  for  knowledge  in  general ; 
and  when,  as  a  result  partly  of  the  stolid  indolence 
we  have  brought  on,  and  partly  of  still  continued  un- 
fitness in  its  studies,  the  child  can  understand  noth- 
ing without  explanation,  and  becomes  a  mere  passive 
recipient  of  our  instruction,  we  infer  that  education 
must  necessarily  be  carried  on  thus.  Having  by  our 
method  induced  helplessness,  we  straightway  make 
the  helplessness  a  reason  for  our  method.  Clearly 
tlien  the  experience  of  pedagogues  cannot  rationally 
be  quoted  against  the  doctrine  we  are  defending.  And 
whoever  sees  this  will  see  that  we  may  safely  follow 
tlie  method  of  nature  throughout — may,  by  a  skilful 
ministration,  make  the  mind  as  self-developing  in  its 
later  stages  as  it  is  in  its  earlier  ones  ;  and  that  only 
by  doing  this  can  we  produce  the  highest  power  and 


6.  As  a  final  test  by  which  to  judge  any  plan 
of  culture,  should  come  the  question, — Does  it  create 
a  pleasurable  excitement  in  the  pupils?  TV  hen  in 
doubt  whether  a  particular  mode  or  arrangement  ie 
or  is  not  more  in  harmony  with  tlie  foregoing  princi- 
ples than  some  other,  we  may  safely  abide  by  this 
criterion.  Even  when,  as  considered  theoretically, 
the  proposed  course  seems  the  best,  yet  if  it  produce 
no  interest,  or  less  interest  than  another  course,  we 
should  relinquish  it ;  for  a  child's  intellectual  in- 
stincts are  more  trustworthy  than  our  reasonings. 
In  respect  to  the  knowing  faculties,  we  may  confi- 
dently trust  in  the  general  law,  that  under  normal 
conditions,  healthful  action  is  pleasurable,  while 
action  which  gives  pain  is  not  healthful.  Tliough 
at  present  very  incompletely  conformed  to  by  the 
emotional  nature,  yet  by  the  intellectual  nature,  or 
at  least  by  those  parts  of  it  which  the  child  exhibits, 
this  law  is  almost  wholly  conformed  to.  The  re- 
pugnances to  this  and  that  study  which  vex  the 
ordinary  teacher,  are  not  innate,  but  result  from 
his  unwise  system.  Fcllenberg  says,  "  Experience 
has  taught  me  that  indolence  in  young  persons  is  so 
directly  opposite  to  their  natural  disposition  to  ac- 
tivity, that  unless  it  is  the  consequence  of  bad  edu- 
cation, it  is  almost  invariably  connected  with  some 
constitutional  defect."  And  the  spontaneous  activ 
ity  to  which  children  are  thus  prone,  is  simply  the 
pursuit  of  those  pleasures  which  the  healthful  exer- 
cise of  the  faoulties  gives.  It  is  true  that  some  of 
the  higher  mental  powers  as  yet  but  little  developed 


in  the  race,  and  congenitally  possessed  in  any  con- 
siderable degree  only  by  tlie  most  advanced,  are 
indisposed  to  the  amount  of  exertion  re(piired  of 
them.  But  these,  in  virtue  of  their  very  complexity, 
will,  in  a  normal  course  of  culture,  come  last  into 
exercise,  and  will  therefore  have  no  demands  made 
upon  them  until  the  pupil  has  arrived  at  an  age  when 
ulterior  motives  can  be  brought  into  play,  and  an  in- 
direct pleasure  made  to  counterbalance  a  direct  dis- 
pleasure. With  all  faculties  lower  than  these,  how- 
ever, the  direct  gratification  consequent  on  activity  is 
the  normal  stimulus  ;  and  under  good  management 
the  only  needful  stimulus.  "When  we  are  obliged  to 
fall  back  upon  some  other,  we  must  take  the  fact  as 
evidence  that  we  are  on  the  wrong  track.  Experience 
is  daily  shewing  with  greater  clearness  that  there  is  al- 
ways a  method  to  be  found  productive  of  interest — 
even  of  delight ;  and  it  ever  turns  out  that  this  is  the 
method  proved  by  all  other  tests  to  be  the  right  one. 
With  most,  these  guiding  principles  will  weigh 
but  little  if  left  in  this  abstract  form.  Partly,  there- 
fore, to  exemplify  their  application,  and  partly  with 
a  view  of  making  sundry  specilic  suggestions,  we 
propose  now  to  pass  from  the  theory  of  education 
to  the  practice  of  it. 


It  was  the  opinion  of  Pestalozzi — an  opinion 
which  has  ever  since  his  day  l^een  gaining  ground 
— that  education  of  some  kind  should  l>egin  from 
the  cradle.  AVhoever  has  watched  with  any  dis- 
cernment, the  wide-eyed  gaze  of  the  infant  at  sur- 

IT   BEGINS   IN    INFANCY.  129 

rounding  objects,  knows  very  well  that  educa- 
tion does  begin  thus  early,  whetlier  we  intend 
it  or  not ;  and  that  tliese  fingerings  and  suckings 
of  every  thing  it  can  lay  hold  of,  these  open-mouthed 
listenings  to  every  sound,  are  the  first  steps  in  the 
series  which  ends  in  the  discovery  of  unseen  planets, 
the  invention  of  calculating  engines,  the  production 
of  great  paintings,  or  the  composition  of  sympho- 
nies and  operas.  This  activity  of  the  faculties  from 
the  very  first  being  spontaneous  and  inevitable,  the 
question  is  whether  we  shall  supply  in  due  variety 
the  materials  on  which  they  may  exercise  them- 
selves ;  and  to  the  question  so  put,  none  but  an 
affirmative  answer  can  be  given.  As  before  said, 
however,  agreement  with  Pestalozzi's  theory  does 
not  involve  agreement  with  his  practice  ;  and  here 
occurs  a  case  in  point.  Treating  of  instruction  in 
spelling  he  says  : — 

"  The  spelling-book  ought,  therefore,  to  contain  all  the 
sounds  of  the  language,  and  these  ought  to  be  taught  iu  every 
family  from  the  earliest  infancy.  The  child  who  learns  his 
spelling-book  ought  to  repeat  them  to  the  infant  in  the  cradle, 
before  it  is  able  to  pronounce  even  one  of  them,  so  that  they 
may  be  deeply  impressed  upon  its  mind  by  frequent  repeti- 

Joining  this  with  the  suggestions  for  "  a  niirsery- 
method,"  as  set  down  in  his  "  Mother's  Manual,"  in 
which  he  makes  the  names,  positions,  connexions, 
numbers,  properties,  and  uses  of  the  limbs  and  body 
his  first  lessons,  it  becomes  clear  that  Pestalozzi's 


notions  on  early  mental  development  were  too  crude 
to  enable  him  to  devise  judicious  plans.  Let  us  in- 
quire into  the  course  which  Psychology  dictates. 

The  earliest  impressions  which  the  mind  can  a.s- 
similate,  are  those  given  to  it  by  the  undecom})osablo 
sensations — resistance,  light,  sound,  &c.  Manifest- 
ly decomposable  states  of  consciousness  cannot  exist 
before  the  states  of  consciousness  out  of  which  they 
are  composed.  There  can  be  no  idea  of  form  until 
some  familiarity  with  light  in  its  gradations  and 
(jualities,  or  resistance  in  its  different  intensities,  has 
been  acquired  ;  for,  as  has  been  long  known,  we  rec- 
ognize visible  form  by  means  of  varieties  of  light, 
and  tangible  form  by  means  of  varieties  of  resistance. 
Similarly,  no  articulate  sound  is  cognizable  until 
the  inarticulate  sounds  which  go  to  malce  it  up 
have  been  learned.  And  thus  must  it  be  in  every 
other  case.  Following,  therefore,  the  necessary  law 
of  i3rogression  from  the  simple  to  the  complex,  we 
should  provide  for  the  infant  a  sufficiency  of  objects 
presenting  different  degrees  and  kinds  of  resistance, 
a  sufficiency  of  objects  reflecting  different  amounts 
and  qualities  of  light,  and  a  sufficiency  of  sounds 
contrasted  in  their  loudness,  their  pitch  and  their 
timbre.  IIow  fully  this  a  priori  conclusion  is  con- 
firmed by  infantile  instincts  all  will  see  on  being 
reminded  of  the  delight  which  every  young  child 
has  in  biting  its  toys,  in  feeling  its  brother''s  bright 
jacket-buttons,  and  pulling  papa's  whiskers — how 
absorded  it  becomes  in  gazing  at  any  gaudily 
painted    object,    to    which    it    applies    the    word 


"  pretty,"  when  it  can  pronounce  it,  wboll}'-  in  vir- 
tue of  the  briglit  colours — and  how  its  face  broadens 
into  a  laugh  at  the  tattlings  of  its  nurse,  the  snap- 
ping  of  a  visitor's  fingers,  or  any  sound  which  it  has 
not  before  heard.  Fortunately,  the  ordinary  prac- 
tices of  the  nursery  fulfil  these  early  requirements 
of  education  to  a  considerable  degree.  Much,  how- 
ever, remains  to  be  done  ;  and  it  is  of  more  impor- 
tance that  it  should  be  done  than  at  first  appears. 
Every  faculty  during  the  period  of  its  greatest  ac- 
tivity— the  period  in  which  it  is  spontaneously 
evolving  itself — is  capable  of  receiving  more  vivid 
impressions  than  at  any  other  period.  Moreover, 
as  these  simplest  elements  must  eventually  be  mas- 
tered, and  as  the  mastery  of  them  whenever  achieved 
must  take  time,  it  becomes  an  economy  of  time  to 
occupy  this  first  stage  of  childhood,  during  which 
no  other  intellectual  action  is  possible,  in  gaining  a 
complete  familiarity  with  them  in  all  their  modifica- 
tions. Add  to  which,  that  both  temper  and  health 
will  be  improved  by  the  continual  gratification  re- 
sulting from  a  due  supply  of  these  imj)ressions 
which  every  child  so  greedily  assimilates.  SpacC; 
could  it  be  spared,  might  here  be  well  filled  by  some 
suggestions  towards  a  more  systematic  ministration 
to  these  simplest  of  the  perceptions.  But  it  must 
suffice  to  point  out  that  any  such  ministration  ought 
to  be  based  upon  the  general  truth  that  in  the  de- 
velopment of  every  faculty,  markedly  contrasted  im- 
pressions are  the  first  to  be  distinguished  :  that  hence 
sounds  greatly  diflfering  in  loudness  and  pitch,  colours 


very  remote  from  each  other,  and  siihstaiioes  widely 
unlike  in  hardness  or  texture,  should  be  the  first  sup- 
plied ;  and  that  in  each  case  the  progression  must  be 
by  slow  degrees  to  impressions  more  nearly  allied. 

Passing  on  to  object- lessons,  which  manifestly 
form  a  natural  continuation  of  this  primary  culture 
of  the  senses,  it  is  to  be  remarked,  that  the  system 
commonly  pursued  is  wholly  at  variance  with  the 
method  of  nature,  as  alike  exhibited  in  infancy,  in 
adult  life,  and  in  the  course  of  civilization.  "  Tlie 
child,"  says  M.  Marcel,  "  must  be  shewn  how  all 
the  parts  of  an  object  are  connected,  ifec.  ;  "  and  the 
various  manuals  of  these  object-lessons  severally 
contain  lists  of  the  facts  which  the  child  is  to  be 
told  respecting  each  of  the  things  put  before  it. 
Xow  it  needs  but  a  glance  at  the  daily  life  of  the 
infant  to  see  that  all  the  knowledge  of  things  which 
is  gained  before  the  acquirement  of  speech,  is  self- 
gained — that  the  qualities  of  hardness  and  weight 
associated  with  certain  visual  appearances,  the  pos- 
session of  particular  forms  and  colours  by  particular 
persons,  the  production  of  special  sounds  by  animals 
of  special  aspects,  are  phenomena  which  it  observes 
for  itself.  In  manhood  too,  when  there  are  no  longer 
teachers  at  hand,  the  observations  and  inferences 
required  for  daily  guidance,  must  be  made  un- 
helped  ;  and  success  in  life  depends  upon  the  accu- 
racy and  completeness  with  which  they  are  made. 
Is  it  probable  then,  that  while  the  process  displayed 
in  the  evolution  of  humanity  at  large,  is  repeated 
alike  by  the  infant  and  the  man,  a  reverse  process 

THE  child's   demand   FOK   SYMPATHY.  133 

must  be  followed  during  the  period  between  infancy 
and  manhood  ?  and  that  too,  even  in  so  simple  a 
thing  as  learning  the  properties  of  objects  ?  Is  it 
not  obvious,  on  the  contrary,  that  one  method  must 
be  pursued  throughout  ?  And  is  not  nature  perpet- 
iiallj  thrusting  this  method  upon  us,  if  we  had  but 
the  wit  to  see  it,  and  the  humility  to  adopt  it  ? 
What  can  be  more  manifest  than  the  desire  of  chil- 
dren for  intellectual  sympathy  ?  Mark  how  the 
infant  sitting  on  your  knee  thrasts  into  your  face 
the  toy  it  holds,  that  you  too  may  look  at  it.  See 
when  it  makes  a  creak  with  its  wet  finger  on  the 
table,  how  it  turns  and  looks  at  you  ;  does  it  again, 
and  again  looks  at  you ;  thus  saying  as  clearly  as 
it  can — "  Hear  this  new  sound."  Watch  how  the 
elder  children  come  into  the  room  exclaiming — 
"  Mamma,  see  what  a  curious  thing,"  "  Mamma, 
look  at  this,"  "  Mamma,  look  at  that ;  "  and  would 
continue  the  habit,  did  not  the  silly  mamma  tell 
them  not  to  tease  her.  Observe  how,  when  out  with 
the  nurse-maid,  each  little  one  runs  up  to  her  with 
the  new  flower  it  has  gathered,  to  show  her  how 
pretty  it  is,  and  to  get  her  also,  to  say  it  is  pretty. 
Listen  to  the  eager  volubility  with  which  every  up 
chin  describes  any  novelty  he  has  been  to  see,  if 
only  he  can  find  some  one  who  will  attend  with  any 
interest.  Does  not  the  induction  lie  on  the  surface  ? 
Is  it  not  clear  that  we  must  conform  our  course  tc 
these  intellectual  instincts — that  we  must  just  sys- 
tematize the  natural  process — that  we  must  listen 
to  all  the  child  has  to  teU  us  about  each  object,  must 


induce  it  to  say  every  thing  it  can  tliink  of  about 
such  object,  must  occasionally  draw  its  attention  to 
facts  it  has  not  yet  observed,  Mitli  the  view  of  lead- 
ing it  to  notice  them  itself  whenever  they  recur, 
and  must  go  on  by  and  by  to  indicate  or  supply 
new  series  of  things  for  a  like  exhaustive  examina- 
tion ?  See  the  way  in  which,  on  this  method,  the 
intelligent  mother  conducts  her  lessons.  Step  by 
step  she  familiarizes  her  little  boy  with  the  names 
of  the  simpler  attributes,  hardness,  softness,  colour, 
taste,  size,  &c.,  in  doing  which  she  finds  him  eagerly 
help  by  bringing  this  to  show  her  that  it  is  red,  aud 
the  other  to  make  her  feel  that  it  is  hard,  as  fast  as 
she  gives  him  words  for  these  properties.  Each 
additional  property,  as  she  draws  his  attention  to  it 
in  some  fresh  thing  which  he  brings  her,  she  takes 
care  to  mention  in  connexion  with  those  he  already 
knows  ;  so  that  by  the  natural  tendency  to  imitate, 
he  may  get  into  the  habit  of  repeating  them  one 
after  another.  Gradually  as  there  occur  cases  in 
which  he  omits  to  name  one  or  more  of  the  proper- 
ties he  has  become  acquainted  with,  she  introduces 
the  practice  of  asking  him  whether  there  is  not 
something  more  that  he  can  tell  her  about  the  thing 
he  has  got.  Probably  he  does  not  understand. 
After  letting  him  puzzle  awhile  she  tells  him  ;  per- 
haps laughing  at  him  a  little  for  his  failure.  A  few 
recurrences  of  this  and  he  perceives  what  is  to  be 
done.  "When  next  she  says  she  knows  something 
more  about  the  object  than  he  has  told  her,  his  pride 
2S  roused  ;  he  looks  at  it  intently  ;  he  thinks  over 


all  that  lie  has  heard  ;  and  the  problem  being  easy, 
presently  finds  it  out.  He  is  full  of  glee  at  his  suc- 
cess, and  she  sympathizes  with  him.  In  common 
with  every  child,  he  delights  in  the  discovery  of  his 
powers.  He  wishes  for  more  victories,  and  goes  in 
quest  of  more  things  about  M'hich  to  tell  her.  As 
his  faculties  unfold  she  adds  quality  after  quality  to 
his  list :  progressing  from  hardness  and  softness  to 
roughness  and  smoothness,  from  colour  to  polish, 
from  simple  bodies  to  composite  ones — thus  con- 
stantly complicating  the  problem  as  he  gains  com- 
petence, constantly  taxing  his  attention  and  memory 
to  a  greater  extent,  constantly  maintainmg  his  in- 
terest by  supplying  him  with  new  impressions  such 
as  his  mind  can  assimilate,  and  constantly  gratifying 
him  by  conquests  over  such  small  difficulties  as  he 
can  master.  In  doing  this  she  is  manifestly  but 
following  out  that  spontaneous  process  that  was 
going  on  during  a  still  earlier  period — simply  aiding 
self-evolution ;  and  is  aiding  it  in  the  mode  sug- 
gested by  the  boy's  instinctive  behavior  to  her. 
Manifestly,  too,  the  course  she  is  pursuing  is  the  one 
best  calculated  to  establish  a  habit  of  exhaustive 
observation  ;  Avhich  is  the  professed  aim  of  these 
lessons.  To  tell  a  child  this  and  to  show  it  the  other, 
is  not  to  teach  it  how  to  observe,  but  to  make  it  a  mere 
recipient  of  another's  observations :  a  proceeding 
which  weakens  rather  than  strengthens  its  powers  of 
self-instruction — which  deprives  it  of  the  pleasures 
resulting  from  successful  activity — wliich  presents 
this  all-attractive  knowledge  under  the  aspect  of  for- 


iiial  tuition — and  wliieli  thus  generates  that  indiffer- 
ence and  even  disgust  -with  which  tlicseohject-lessons 
are  not  unfrequently  regarded.  On  the  other  hand, 
to  pursue  the  course  above  described  is  simply  to 
guide  the  intellect  to  its  appropriate  food ;  to  join 
'v^'ith  the  intellectual  appetites  their  natural  adjuncts 
— amour  prapre  and  the  desire  for  sympathy  ;  to  in- 
duce by  the  union  of  all  these  an  intensity  of  attention 
which  insures  perceptions  alike  vivid  and  complete  ; 
and  to  habituate  the  mind  from  the  beginning  to  that 
practice  of  self-help  M'hich  it  must  ultimately  follow. 
Object-lessons  should  not  only  be  earned  on 
after  quite  a  different  fashion  from  that  commonly 
pursued,  but  should  be  extended  to  a  range  of  things 
far  wider,  and  continue  to  a  period  far  later,  than 
now.  They  should  not  be  limited  to  the  contents 
of  the  house  ;  but  should  include  those  of  the  fields 
and  the  hedges,  the  quarry  and  the  sea-shore.  Tliey 
should  not  cease  with  early  childhood  ;  but  shoidd 
be  so  kept  up  during  youth  as  insensibly  to  merge 
into  the  investigations  of  the  naturalist  and  the  man 
of  science.  Here  again  we  have  but  to  follow  na- 
ture's leadings.  "Where  can  be  seen  an  intenser  de- 
light than  that  of  children  picking  up  new  flowers 
and  watching  new  insects,  or  hoarding  pebbles  and 
shells  ?  And  who  is  there  but  perceives  that  by 
symjjathizing  with  them  they  may  be  led  on  to  any 
extent  of  inquiry  into  the  qualities  and  structures 
of  these  things  ?  Every  botanist  who  has  had  chil- 
dren with  him  in  the  woods  and  the  lanes  must  have 
noticed  how  eagerly  they  joined  in  his  pursuits,  how 


keenly  tliej  searched  ont  plants  for  liim,  how  in> 
tently  they  watched  whilst  he  examined  them,  how 
they  overwhelmed  him  with  questions.  The  consist 
ent  follower  of  Bacon — the  "  servant  and  interpre- 
ter of  nature,"  will  see  that  we  ought  modestly  to 
adopt  the  course  of  culture  thus  indicated.  Having 
gained  due  familiarity  with  the  simpler  properties 
of  inorganic  objects,  the  child  should  by  the  same 
process  be  led  on  to  a  like  exhaustive  examination 
of  the  things  it  picks  up  in  its  daily  walks — the  less 
complex  facts  they  present  being  alone  noticed  at 
first :  in  plants,  the  colour,  number,  and  forms  of 
the  petals  and  shapes  of  the  stalks  and  leaves :  in 
insects,  the  numbers  of  the  wings,  legs,  and  anten- 
nse,  and  their  colours.  As  these  become  fully  ap- 
preciated and  invariably  observed,  further  facts  may 
be  successively  introduced  :  in  the  one  case,  the 
numbers  of  stamens  and  pistils,  the  forms  of  the 
flowers,  whether  radial  or  bilateral  in  symmetry, 
the  arrangement  and  character  of  the  leaves,  whether 
opposite  or  alternate,  stalked  or  sessile,  smooth  or 
hairy,  serrated,  toothed,  or  crenate ;  in  the  other, 
the  divisions  of  the  body,  the  segments  of  the  ab- 
domen, the  markings  of  the  wings,  tlie  number  of 
joints  in  the  legs,  and  the  forms  of  the  smaller  or- 
gans— the  system  pursued  throughout  being  that  of 
making  it  the  child's  ambition  to  say  respecting 
everything  it  finds,  all  that  can  be  said.  Then  when 
a  fit  age  has  been  reached,  the  means  of  preserving 
these  plants  which  have  become  so  interesting  in 
virtue  of  the  knowledge  obtained  of  them,  may  as 


a  great  favour  be  supplied  ;  and  eventually,  as  a 
still  greater  favour,  may  also  be  supplied  the  appa- 
ratus needful  for  keeping  the  larvse  of  our  common 
butterflies  and  moths  through  their  transforn)ations 
• — a  practice  which,  as  we  can  personally  testify, 
yields  the  highest  gratification  ;  is  continued  with 
ardour  for  years ;  when  joined  with  the  formation 
of  an  entomological  collection,  adds  immense  in- 
terest to  Saturday-afternoon  rambles  ;  and  forms  an 
admirable  introduction  to  the  study  of  physiology. 
We  are  quite  prepared  to  hear  from  many  that 
all  this  is  throwing  away  time  and  energy  ;  and  that 
children  would  be  much  better  occupied  in  writing 
their  copies  or  learning  their  pence-tables,  and  so 
fitting  themselves  for  the  business  of  life.     "We  re- 
gret that  such  crude  ideas  of  what  constitutes  edu- 
cation and  such  a  narrow  conception  of  utility,  should 
still  be  generally  prevalent.    Saying  nothing  on  the 
need  for  a  systematic  culture  of  the  perceptions  and 
the   value   of   the  practices    above   inculcated    as 
subserving  that  need,  we  are  prepared  to  defend 
them  even  on  the  score  of  the  knowledge  gained. 
If  men  are  to  be  mere  cits,  mere  porers  over  led- 
gers, with  no  ideas  beyond  their  trades — if  it  is  well 
that  they  should  be  as  the  cockney  whose  conception 
of  rural  pleasures  extends  no  further  than  sitting  in 
a  tea-garden  smoking  pipes  and  drinking  porter  ;  or 
as  the  squire  who  thinks  of  woods  as  places  for 
shooting  in,  of  uncultivated  plants  as  nothing  but 
weeds,  and  who  classifies  animals  into  game,  vermin, 
fjid  stock — then  indeed  it  is  needless  for  men  to 


learn  Ariy  tliing  that  does  not  directly  help  to  re- 
plenish the  till  and  till  the  larder.  But  if  there  is  a 
more  worthy  aim  for  us  than  to  be  drudges — if  there 
are  other  uses  in  the  things  around  us  than  their 
power  to  bring  money — if  there  are  higher  faculties 
to  be  exercised  than  acquisitive  and  sensual  ones — 
if  the  pleasures  which  poetry  and  art  and  science 
and  philosophy  can  bring  are  of  any  moment — then 
is  it  desirable  that  the  instinctive  inclination  which 
every  child  shows  to  observe  natural  beauties  and 
investigate  natural  phenomena  should  be  encour- 
aged. But  this  gross  utilitarianism  which  is  con- 
tent to  come  into  the  world  and  quit  it  again  with- 
out knowing  what  kind  of  a  world  it  is  or  what  it 
contains,  may  bo  met  on  its  own  ground.  It  will 
by  and  by  be  found  that  a  knowledge  of  the  laws 
of  life  is  more  important  than  any  other  knowledge 
whatever — that  the  laws  of  life  include  not  only  all 
bodily  and  mental  processes,  but  by  implication  all 
the  transactions  of  the  house  and  the  street,  all  com- 
merce, all  politics,  all  morals — and  that  therefore 
without  a  due  acquaintance  with  them  neither  per- 
sonal nor  social  conduct  can  be  rightly  regulated. 
It  will  eventually  be  seen  too,  that  the  laws  of  life 
are  essentially  the  same  throughout  the  whole  or- 
ganic creation ;  and  further,  that  they  cannot  be 
properly  understood  in  their  complex  manifestations 
until  they  have  been  studied  in  their  simpler  ones. 
And  when  this  is  seen,  it  will  be  also  seen  that  in 
aiding  the  child  to  acquire  the  out-of-door  informa- 
tion for  which  it  shews  bo  great  an  avidity,  and  in 


encouraging  the  acquisition  of  such  information 
tbroiigliout  youth,  we  arc  simply  inducing  it  to  store 
up  the  raw  material  for  future  organization — the 
facts  that  will  one  day  bring  home  to  it  with  due 
force  those  great  generalizations  of  science  by  which 
actions  may  be  rightly  guided. 

The  spreading  recognition  of  drawing  as  an 
element  of  education,  is  one  amongst  many  signs 
of  the  more  rational  views  on  mental  culture  now 
beginning  to  prevail.  Once  more  it  may  be  re- 
marked that  teachers  are  at  length  adopting  the 
course  which  nature  has  for  ages  been  pressing  upon 
their  notice.  The  spontaneous  efforts  made  by  chil- 
dren to  represent  the  men,  houses,  trees,  and  animals 
around  them — on  a  slate  if  they  can  get  nothing 
better,  or  with  lead-pencil  on  paper,  if  they  can  beg 
them — are  familiar  to  all.  To  be  shown  through  a 
picture-book  is  one  of  their  highest  gratifications  ; 
and  as  usual,  their  strong  imitative  tendency  pres- 
ently generates  in  them  the  ambition  to  make 
pictures  themselves  also.  Tliis  attempt  to  depict 
the  striking  things  they  see  is  a  further  instinctive 
exercise  of  the  perceptions — a  means  whereby  still 
greater  accuracy  and  completeness  of  observation 
is  induced.  And  alike  by  seeking  to  interest  us  in 
their  discoveries  of  the  sensible  properties  of  things, 
and  by  their  endeavours  to  draw,  they  solicit  from 
us  just  that  kind  of  culture  which  they  most  need. 

Had  teachers  been  guided  by  nature's  hints  not 
only  in  the  making  of  drawing  a  j^art  of  education, 
but  in  the  choice  of  their  modes  of  teaching  it,  they 


would  have  done  still  better  than  they  have  done. 
What  is  it  that  the  child  first  tries  to  represent  ? 
Tilings  that  are  large,  things  that  are  attractive  in 
colour,  things  round  which  its  pleasurable  associa- 
tions most  cluster — human  beings  from  whom  it  has 
received  so  many  emotions,  cows  and  dogs  which 
interest  by  the  many  phenomena  tliey  present, 
houses  that  are  hourly  visible  and  strike  by  their 
size  and  contrast  of  parts.  And  which  of  all  the 
processes  of  representation  gives  it  most  delight  ? 
Colouring.  Paper  and  pencil  are  good  in  default 
of  something  better ;  bat  a  box  of  paints  and  a 
brush — these  are  the  treasures.  The  drawing  of 
outlines  immediately  becomes  secondary  to  colour- 
ing— is  gone  through  mainly  with  a  view  to  the 
colouring  ;  and  if  leave  can  be  got  to  colour  a  book 
of  prints,  how  great  is  the  favour  !  ISTow,  ridiculous 
as  such  a  position  will  seem  to  drawing-masters, 
who  postpone  colouring  and  who  teach  form  by  a 
dreary  discipline  of  copying  lines,  we  believe  that 
tlie  course  of  culture  thus  indicated  is  the  right  one. 
That  priority  of  colour  to  form,  which,  as  already 
pointed  out,  has  a  psychological  basis,  and  in  virtue 
of  which  psychological  basis  arises  this  strong  pref- 
erence in  the  child,  should  be  recognized  from  the 
very  beginning  ;  and  from  the  very  beginning  also 
the  things  imitated  should  be  real.  Tliat  greater 
delight  in  colour  which  is  not  only  conspicuous  in 
children  but  persists  in  most  persons  throughout 
life,  should  be  continuously  employed  as  the  natural 
stimulus  to  the  mastery  of  the  comparatively  diffi- 


cult  and  unattractive  form — should  be  the  prospeC' 
tivc  reward  for  the  achievement  of  form.  And 
these  instinctive  attempts  to  represent  interesting 
actualities  should  be  all  along  encouraged  ;  in  the 
conviction  that  as,  by  a  widening  experience,  smaller 
and  more  practicable  objects  become  interesting, 
they  too  will  be  attempted  ;  and  that  so  a  gradual 
approximation  will  be  made  towards  imitations  hav- 
ing some  resemblance  to  the  realities.  Ko  matter 
how  grotesque  the  shapes  produced  :  no  matter  how 
daubed  and  glaring  the  colours.  Tlie  question  is 
not  whether  the  child  is  producing  good  drawings  : 
the  question  is,  whether  it  is  developing  its  faculties. 
It  has  first  to  gain  some  command  over  its  fingers, 
some  crude  notions  of  likeness  ;  and  this  practice  is 
better  than  any  other  for  these  ends  ;  seeing  that  it 
is  the  spontaneous  and  the  interesting  one.  During 
these  early  years,  be  it  remembered,  no  formal 
drawing-lessons  are  possible  :  shall  wc  therefore  re- 
press, or  neglect  to  aid,  these  eflforts  at  self-culture? 
or  shall  we  encourage  and  guide  them  as  normal 
exercises  of  the  perceptions  and  the  powers  of  manip- 
ulation ?  If  by  the  supply  of  cheap  woodcuts  to 
be  coloured,  and  simple  contour-maps  to  have  their 
boundary  lines  tinted,  we  can  not  only  pleasurably 
draw  out  the  faculty  of  colour,  but  can  incidentally 
produce  some  familiarity  with  the  outlines  of  things 
and  countries,  and  some  ability  to  move  the  brush 
steadily  ;  and  if  by  the  sup])ly  of  temptingly-painted 
objects  we  can  keep  up  the  instinctive  practice  of 
making  representations,  however  rough,  it    must 


happen  that  by  the  time  drawing  is  commonly 
commenced  there  will  exist  a  facility  that  would 
else  have  been  absent.  Time  will  have  been  gained ; 
and  trouble  both  to  teacher  and  pupil,  saved. 

From  all  that  has  been  said,  it  may  be  readily 
inferred  that  we  wholly  disapprove  of  the  practice 
of  drawing  from  copies  ;  and  still  more  so  of  that 
formal  discipline  in  making  straight  lines  and  curved 
lines  and  compound  lines,  with  which  it  is  the 
fashion  of  some  teachers  to  begin.  We  regret  to 
find  that  the  Society  of  Arts  has  recently,  in  its 
series  of  manuals  on  "  Rudimentary  Art-Instruc- 
tion," given  its  countenance  to  an  elementary  draw- 
ing-book, which  is  the  most  vicious  in  principle  that 
we  have  seen.  We  refer  to  the  "  Outline  from  Out- 
line, or  from  the  Flat,"  by  John  Bell,  sculptor.  As 
expressed  in  the  prefatory  note,  this  publication 
proposes  "  to  place  before  the  student  a  simple,  yet 
logical  mode  of  instruction  ;  "  and  to  this  end  sets 
out  with  a  number  of  definitions  thus  : — 

"  A  simple  line  in  drawing  is  a  thin  mark  drawn  from  one 
point  to  another. 

"Lines  may  be  divided,  as  to  their  nature  in  drawing,  into 
two  classes : — 

"  1.  Straight^  which  are  marks  that  go  the  shortest  road 
between  two  points,  as  A  B. 

"2.  Or  Curved^  which  are  marks  which  do  not  go  the 
shortest  road  between  two  points,  as  C  D." 

And  so  the  introduction  progresses  to  horizontal 
lines,  peri)endicular  lines,  oblique  lines,  angles  of 


the  several  kinds,  and  tlic  variuns  fii^ures  wliieh 
lines  and  ang-les  make  up.  The  work  is,  in  short,  a 
grammar  of  i'urm,  with  exercises.  And  tl:ns  the 
system  of  commencing  with  a  dry  analysis  of  ele- 
ments, which,  in  the  teaching  of  language,  has  been 
exploded,  is  to  be  re-instituted  in  the  teaching  of 
drawing.  The  abstract  is  to  be  preliminary  to  the 
concrete.  Scientific  conceptions  are  to  precede  em- 
pirical experiences.  That  this  is  an  invei'sion  of  the 
normal  order,  we  need  scarcely  repeat.  It  has  been 
well  said  concerning  the  custom  of  preuicing  the 
art  of  speaking  any  tongue  by  a  drilling  in  the  parts 
of  speech  and  their  functions,  that  it  is  about  as 
reasonable  as  prefacing  the  art  of  walking  by  a 
course  of  lessons  on  the  bones,  muscles,  and  nerves 
of  the  legs  ;  and  much  the  same  thing  may  be  said 
of  the  proposal  to  preface  the  art  of  representing 
objects  by  a  nomenclature  and  definitions  of  the 
lines  which  they  yield  on  analysis.  These  techni- 
calities are  alike  repulsive  and  needless.  They  ren- 
der the  study  distasteful  at  the  very  outset ;  and  all 
with  the  view  of  teaching  that,  which,  in  the  course 
of  practice,  will  be  learnt  unconsciously.  Just  as 
the  child  incidentally  gathers  the  meanings  of  ordi- 
nary words  from  the  conversations  going  on  aronnd 
it,  without  the  help  of  dictionaries  ;  so,  from  the 
remarks  on  objects,  j)ictures,  and  its  own  drawings, 
will  it  presently  acquire,  not  only  without  effort  but 
even  pleasurably,  those  same  scientific  terms,  Mhich, 
if  presented  at  first,  are  a  mystery  and  a  Aveariness. 
If  any  dependence  is  to  be  placed  upon  the  general 


principles  of  education  that  have  been  laid  down, 
the  process  of  learning  to  draw  should  be  through- 
out continuous  with  those  efforts  of  early  childhood 
described  above,  as  so  worthy  of  encouragemento 
By  the  time  that  the  voluntary  practice  thus  ini- 
tiated has  given  some  steadiness  of  hand,  and  some 
tolerable  ideas  of  proportion,  there  will  have  arisen 
a  vague  notion  of  body  as  presenting  its  three  di- 
mensions in  perspective.  And  when,  after  sundry 
abortive,  Chinese-like  attempts  to  render  this  ap- 
pearance on  paper,  there  has  grown  up  a  pretty  clear 
perception  of  the  thing  to  be  achieved,  and  a  desire 
to  achieve  it,  a  first  lesson  in  empirical  jDerspective 
may  be  given  by  means  of  the  apparatus  occasion- 
ally used  in  explaining  perspective  as  a  science. 
Tliis  sounds  formidable  ;  but  the  experiment  is  both 
comprehensive  and  interesting  to  any  boy  or  girl 
of  ordinary  intelligence.  A  plate  of  glass  so  framed 
as  to  stand  vertically  on  the  table,  being  placed 
before  the  pupil,  and  a  book,  or  like  simple  object 
laid  on  the  other  side  of  it,  he  is  requested,  whilst 
keeping  the  eye  in  one  position,  to  make  ink  dots 
upon  the  glass,  so  that  they  may  coincide  with,  or 
hide  the  corners  of  this  object.  He  is  then  told  to 
join  these  dots  by  lines ;  on  doing  which  he  per- 
ceives that  the  lines  he  makes  hide,  or  coincide  with, 
the  outlines  of  the  oliject.  And  then  on  being  asked 
to  put  a  sheet  of  paper  on  the  other  side  of  the  glass, 
he  discovers  that  the  lines  he  has  thus  drawn  repre- 
sent the  object  as  he  saw  it.  They  not  only  look 
like  it,  but  he  perceives  that  they  must  be  like  it, 


because  he  made  them  agree  M'ith  its  outlines  ;  and 
by  removing  the  paper  he  can  repeatedly  convince 
himself  that  they  do  agree  with  its  outlines.  The 
fact  is  new  and  striking ;  and  serves  him  as  an 
experimental  demonstration,  that  lines  of  certain 
lengths,  placed  in  certain  directions  on  a  plane,  can 
represent  lines  of  other  lengths,  and  having  other 
directions  in  space.  Subsequently,  by  gradually 
changing  the  position  of  the  object,  he  may  be  led 
to  observe  how  some  lines  shorten  and  disapj^ear, 
whilst  others  come  into  sight  and  lengthen.  The 
convergence  of  parallel  lines,  and,  indeed,  all  the 
leading  facts  of  perspective  may,  from  time  to  time, 
be  similarly  illustrated  to  him.  If  he  has  been  duly 
accustomed  to  self-help,  he  will  gladly,  when  it  is 
suggested,  make  the  attempt  to  draw  one  of  these  out- 
lines upon  paper,  by  the  eye  only  ;  and  it  may  soon 
be  made  an  exciting  aim  to  produce,  unassisted,  a 
representation,  as  like  as  he  can,  to  one  subsequently 
sketched  on  the  glass.  Thus,  without  the  unintelli- 
gent, mechanical  practice  of  copying  other  drawings, 
but  by  a  method  at  once  simple  and  attractive — 
rational,  yet  not  abstract,  a  familiarity  with  the 
linear  appearances  of  things,  and  a  faculty  of  ren- 
dering them,  may  be,  step  by  step,  acquired.  To 
which  advantages  add  these  : — that  even  thus  early 
the  pupil  learns,  almost  unconsciously,  the  true 
theory  of  a  picture — namely,  that  it  is  a  delineation 
of  objects  as  they  appear  when  projected  on  a  plane 
placed  between  them  and  the  eye ;  and  that  when 
he  roaches  a  fit  age  for  commencing  scientilic  pei^ 


spective  lie  is  already  thoroughly  acquainted  with 
the  facts  which  form  its  logical  basis. 

As  exhibiting  a  rational  mode  of  communicating 
primary  conceptions  in  geometry,  we  cannot  do 
better  than  quote  the  following  passage  from  Mr. 
Wyse  :— 

"  A  child  has  been  in  the  habit  of  using  cubes  for  arithme- 
tic ;  let  him  use  them  aLso  for  the  elements  of  geometry.  I 
■would  begin  with  solids,  the  reverse  of  the  usual  plan.  It 
saves  all  the  difficulty  of  absurd  definitions,  and  bad  explana- 
tions on  points,  lines,  and  surfaces,  which  are  nothing  but  ab- 
stractions. ...  A  cube  presents  many  of  the  principal 
elements  of  geometry  ;  it  at  once  exhibits  points,  straight 
lines,  parallel  lines,  angles,  parallelograms,  &c.,  &c.  These 
cubes  are  divisible  into  various  parts.  The  pupil  has  already 
been  familiarized  with  such  divisions  in  numeration,  and  he 
now  proceeds  to  a  comparison  of  their  several  parts,  and  of 
the  relation  of  these  parts  to  each  other.  ,  .  .  From  thence 
he  advances  to  globes,  which  furnish  him  with  elementary 
notions  of  the  circle,  of  curves  generally,  &c.,  &c. 

"  Being  tolerably  familiar  with  solids,  he  may  now  sub- 
stitute planes.  The  transition  may  be  made  very  easy.  Let 
the  cube,  for  instance,  be  cut  into  thin  divisions,  and  placed 
on  paper ;  he  will  then  see  as  many  plane  rectangles  as  he 
has  divisions ;  so  with  all  the  others.  Globes  may  be  treated 
in  the  same  manner  ;  he  will  thus  see  how  surfaces  really  are 
generated,  and  be  enabled  to  abstract  them  with  facility  in 
every  solid. 

"  He  has  thus  acquired  the  alphabet  and  reading  of  geom- 
etry.    He  now  proceeds  to  write  it. 

"  The  simplest  operation,  and  therefore  the  first,  is  merely 
to  place  these  planes  on  a  piece  of  paper,  and  pass  the  pencil 
round  them.  "When  this  has  been  frequently  done,  the  plane 
may  be  put  at  a  little  distance,  and  the  child  required  to  copy 
it,  and  so  on." 


A  stock  of  geometrical  conceptions  having  been 
obtained,  in  some  sucb  manner  as  tliis  recom- 
mended by  Mr.  Wyse,  a  farther  step  may,  in  conrse 
of  time,  be  taken,  by  introdncing  the  practice  of 
testing  the  correctness  of  all  figures  drawn  by  tlie 
eye  ;  tlius  alike  exciting  an  ambition  to  make  them 
exact,  and  continually  illustrating  the  difficulty  of 
fulfilling  that  ambition.  Tliere  can  be  little  doubt 
that  geometry  had  its  origin  (as,  indeed,  the  word 
implies)  in  the  methods  discovered  by  artisans  and 
others,  of  making  accurate  measurement  for  the 
foundations  of  buildings,  areas  of  inclosures,  and 
the  like  ;  and  that  its  truths  came  to  be  treasured 
up,  merely  with  a  view  to  their  immediate  utility. 
They  should  be  introduced  to  the  pupil  under  anal- 
ogous relationships.  In  the  cutting  out  of  pieces 
for  his  card-houses,  in  the  drawing  of  ornamental 
diagrams  for  colouring,  and  in  those  various  instruc- 
tive occupations  which  an  inventive  teacher  will 
lead  him  into,  he  may  be  for  a  length  of  time  ad- 
vantageously left,  like  the  primitive  builder,  to 
tentative  processes  ;  and  will  so  gain  an  abundant 
experience  of  the  difficulty  of  achieving  his  aims 
by  the  unaided  senses.  When,  having  meanwhile 
undergone  a  valuable  discipline  of  the  perceptions, 
he  has  reached  a  fit  age  for  using  a  pair  of  compass- 
es, he  Avill,  whilst  duly  appreciating  these  as  ena- 
bling him  to  verify  his  ocular  guesses,  be  still  hin- 
dered by  the  difficulties  of  the  approximative  method. 
In  this  stage  he  may  be  left  for  a  further  period  : 
partly  as  being  yet  too  young  for  anything  higher ; 


partly  Lecause  it  is  desirable  that  he  should  be  made 
to  feel  still  more  strongly  the  Avaiit  of  systematic 
eoiitriyances.  If  the  acquisition  of  knowledge  is  to 
be  made  continuously  interesting ;  and  if,  in  the 
early  civilization  of  the  child,  as  in  the  early  ciyili- 
zation  of  the  race,  science  becomes  attractiye  only 
as  ministering  to  art ;  it  is  manifest  that  the  proper 
preliminary  to  geometry  is  a  long  practice  in  those 
constructive  processes  which  geometry  will  facilitate. 
Observe  that  here,  too,  nature  points  the  way.  Al- 
most invariably,  children  show  a  strong  propensity 
to  cut  out  things  in  paper,  to  make,  to  build — a 
propensity  which,  if  duly  encouraged  and  directed, 
will  not  only  prepare  the  way  for  scientific  concep- 
tions, but  will  develop  those  powers  of  manipula- 
tion in  which  most  people  are  so  deficient. 

When  the  observing  and  inventive  faculties 
have  attained  the  requisite  power,  the  pupil  may 
be  introduced  to  empirical  geometry  ;  that  is — 
geometry  dealing  with  methodical  solutions,  but 
not  with  the  demonstrations  of  them.  Like  all 
other  transitions  in  education,  this  should  be  made 
not  formally  but  incidentally  ;  and  the  relationship 
to  constructive  art  should  still  be  maintained.  To 
make  a  tetrahedron  in  cardboard,  like  one  given  to 
him,  is  a  problem  which  will  alike  interest  the 
pupil,  and  serve  as  a  convenient  starting-point.  In 
attempting  this,  he  finds  it  needful  to  draw  four 
equilateral  triangles  arranged  in  special  positions. 
Being  unable  in  the  absence  of  an  exact  method  to 
do  this  accurately  he  discovers  on  putting  the  tri- 


angles  into  their  respective  positions,  that  Le  can 
not  make  their  sides  fit,  and  that  their  angles  do 
not  properly  meet  at  the  apex.  He  may  now  be 
shown  how  by  describing  a  couple  of  circles,  each 
of  these  triangles  may  be  drawn  with  perfect  cor- 
rectness and  without  guessing  ;  and  after  his  failure 
he  will  duly  value  the  information.  Having  thus 
helped  him  to  the  solution  of  his  first  problem, 
with  the  view  of  illustrating  the  nature  of  geomet- 
rical methods,  he  is  in  future  to  be  left  altogether 
to  his  own  ingenuity  in  solving  the  questions  put 
to  him.  To  bisect  a  line,  to  erect  a  perpendicular, 
to  describe  a  square,  to  bisect  an  angle,  to  draw  a 
line  parallel  to  a  given  line,  to  describe  a  hexagon, 
are  jiroblems  which  a  little  patience  will  enable  him 
to  find  out.  And  from  these  he  may  be  led  on 
step  by  step  to  questions  of  a  more  complex  kind  ; 
all  of  which,  under  judicious  management,  he  will 
puzzle  through  unhelped.  Doubtless,  many  of 
those  brought  up  under  the  old  regime,  will  look 
upon  this  assertion  sceptically.  We  speak  from 
facts,  however,  and  those  neither  few  nor  special. 
We  have  seen  a  class  of  boys  become  so  interested 
in  making  out  solutions  to  these  problems,  as  to 
look  forward  to  their  geometry -lesson  as  a  chief 
event  of  the  week.  Within  the  last  month,  we 
have  been  told  of  one  girls'  school,  in  which  some 
of  the  young  ladies  voluntarily  occupy  themselves 
with'  geometrical  questions  out  of  school-hours  ;  and 
of  another,  in  which  they  not  only  do  this,  but  in 
which  one  of  them  is  begging  for  problems  to  find 


out  during  tlie  holidays — botli  wliicli  facts  we  state 
on  the  authority  of  the  teacher.  There  could  in- 
deed be  no  stronger  proofs  than  are  thus  afforded 
of  the  practicability  and  the  immense  advantage  of 
self-development.  A  branch  of  knowledge  which 
as  commonly  taught  is  dry  and  even  repulsive, 
may,  by  following  the  method  of  nature,  be  made 
extremely  interesting  and  profoundly  beneficial. 
We  say  profoundly  beneficial,  because  the  effects 
are  not  confined  to  the  gaining  of  geometrical  facts, 
but  often  revolutionize  the  whole  state  of  mind. 
It  has  repeatedly  occurred,  that  those  who  have 
been  stupefied  by  the  ordinary  school-drill — by  its 
abstract  formulas,  by  its  wearisome  tasks,  by  its 
cramming — have  suddenly  had  their  intellects 
roused,  by  thus  ceasing  to  make  them  passive 
recipients,  and  inducing  them  to  become  active 
discoverers.  Tlie  discouragement  brought  about 
by  bad  teaching  having  been  diminished  by  a  little 
sympathy,  and  sufficient  perseverance  induced  to 
achieve  a  first  success,  there  arises  a  revulsion  of 
feeling  affecting  the  whole  nature.  They  no  longer 
find  themselves  incompetent ;  they  too  can  do 
something.  And  gradually  as  success  follows  suc- 
cess, the  incubus  of  despair  disappears,  and  they 
attack  the  difficulties  of  their  other  studies  with 
a  courage  that  insures  conquest. 

This  empirical  geometry  which  presents  an  end- 
less series  of  problems,  and  should  be  continued 
along  with  other  studies  for  years,  may  throughout 
be  advantageously  accompanied  by  those  concrete 


applications  of  its  principles  which  serve  as  its  pre- 
liminary. After  the  cube,  the  octahedron,  and  the 
various  forms  of  pyramid  and  prism  have  been 
mastered,  may  come  the  more  complex  regular 
bodies — the  dodt^cahedron,  and  the  icosahedron — 
to  construct  which  out  of  single  pieces  of  cardboard 
requires  considerable  ingenuity.  From  these,  the 
transition  may  naturally  be  made  to  such'  modified 
forms  of  the  regular  bodies  as  are  met  with  in  crys- 
tals— the  truncated  cube,  the  cube  with  itsdiliedral 
as  well  as  its  solid  angles  truncated,  the  octahedron 
and  the  various  prisms  as  similarly  modified  ;  in 
imitating  which  numerous  forms  assumed  by  differ- 
ent metals  and  salts,  an  acquaintance  with  tlie 
leading  facts  of  mineralogy  will  be  incidentally 
gained.  After  long  continuance  in  exercises  of 
this  kind,  rational  geometry,  as  may  be  supposed, 
presents  no  obstacles.  Constantly  habituated  to 
contemplate  relationships  of  form  and  quantity,  and 
vaguely  perceiving  from  time  to  time  the  necessity 
of  certain  results  as  reached  by  certain  means,  the 
pupil  comes  to  regard  the  demonstrations  of  Eu- 
clid as  the  missing  supplements  to  his  familiar 
problems.  His  well-disciplined  faculties  enable 
him  easily  to  master  its  successive  propositions,  and 
to  appreciate  their  value  ;  and  he  has  the  occasional 
gratification  of  finding  some  of  his  own  methods 
proved  to  be  true.  Tlius  he  enjoys  what  is  to  the 
unprej)ared  a  dreary  task.  It  only  remains  to  add, 
that  his  mind  will  presently  arrive  at  a  fit  condition 
for  that  most  valuable  of  all  exercises  for  the  re* 


flective  faculties — the  making  of  original  demon- 
strations. Such  theorems  as  those  appended  to  the 
successive  books  of  the  Messrs.  Chambers'  Euclid, 
will  soon  become  practicable  to  him  ;  and  in  prov- 
ing them  the  process  of  self-development  will  be 
not  intellectual  only,  but  moral. 

To  continue  much  further  these  suggestions 
would  be  to  write  a  detailed  treatise  on  education, 
which  we  do  not  purpose.  The  foregoing  outlines 
of  plans  for  exercising  the  perceptions  in  early 
childhood  for  conducting  object-lessons  for  teaching 
drawing  and  geometry,  must  be  considered  as 
roughly-sketched  illustrations  of  the  method  dic- 
tated by  the  general  principles  previously  specified. 
We  believe  that  on  examination  they  will  be  found 
not  only  to  progress  from  the  simple  to  the  complex, 
from  the  concrete  to  the  abstract,  from  the  empirical 
to  the  rational ;  but  to  satisfy  the  further  require- 
ments that  education  shall  be  a  repetition  of  civiliza- 
tion in  little,  that  it  shall  be  as  much  as  possible  a 
process  of  self-evolution,  and  that  it  shall  be  pleas- 
urable. That  there  should  be  one  type  of  method 
capable  of  satisfying  all  these  conditions,  tends  alike 
to  verify  the  conditions,  and  to  prove  that  type  of 
method  the  right  one.  And  when  we  add  that  this 
method  is  the  logical  outcome  of  the  tendency, 
characterizing  all  modern  systems  of  instruction — - 
that  it  is  Ijut  an  adoption  in  full  of  the  method  of 
nature  which  they  adopt  partially — that  it  displays 
this  complete  adoption  of  the  method  of  nature,  not 
only  by  conforming  to  the  above  principles,  but  by 


following  the  suggestions  wliicli  the  unfolding  mind 
itself  gives,  facilitating  its  spontaneous  activities, 
and  so  aiding  tlie  developments  which  nature  is 
busy  with — when  we  add  this,  there  seems  abun- 
dant reason  to  conclude,  that  the  mode  of  procedure 
above  exemplified,  closely  approximates  to  the  true 

A  few  paragraphs  must  be  appended  in  further 
inculcation  of  the  two  general  principles,  alike  the 
most  important  and  the  least  attended  to  :  we  mean 
the  principle  that  throughout  youth,  as  in  early 
childhood  and  in  maturity,  the  process  shall  be  one 
of  self-instruction ;  and  the  obverse  principle,  that 
the  mental  action  induced  by  this  process  shall  be 
throughout  intrinsically  grateful.  If  progression  from 
simple  to  complex,  and  from  concrete  to  abstract,  be 
considered  the  essential  requirements  as  dictated  by 
abstract  psychology,  then  do  these  requirements 
that  knowledge  shall  be  self-mastered,  and  pleasur- 
ably  mastered,  become  the  tests  by  which  we  may 
judge  whether  the  dictates  of  abstract  psychology 
are  being  fulfilled.  K  the  first  embody  the  leading 
generalizations  of  the  science  of  mental  growth,  the 
last  are  the  chief  canons  of  the  art  of  fostering  men- 
tal growth.  For  manifestly  if  the  steps  in  our 
curriculum  are  so  arranged  that  they  can  be  suc- 
cessively ascended  by  the  pupil  himself  with  little 
or  no  help,  they  must  correspond  with  the  stages 
of  evolution  i*"  his  faculties  ;  and  manifestly  if  the 
Buccessive  achievements  of  these  steps  are  intriusi- 


cally  gratifying  to  liim,  it  follows  that  they  require 
uo  more  than  a  normal  exercise  of  his  powers. 

But  the  making  education  a  process  of  self- 
evolution  has  other  advantages  than  this  of  keeping 
our  lessons  in  the  right  order.  In  the  first  place,  it 
guarantees  a  vividness  and  permanency  of  impres- 
sion which  the  usual  methods  can  never  produce. 
Any  piece  of  knowledge  which  the  pupil  has  him- 
self accpiired,  any  problem  which  he  has  himself 
solved,  becomes  by  virtue  of  the  conquest  much 
more  thoroughly  his  than  it  could  else  be.  Tlie 
preliminary  activity  of  mind  which  his  success  im- 
plies, the  concentration  of  thought  necessary  to  it, 
and  the  excitement  consequent  on  his  triumph,  con- 
spire to  register  all  the  facts  in  his  memory  in  a 
way  that  no  mere  information  heard  from  a  teacher, 
or  read  in  a  school-book,  can  be  registered.  Even 
if  he  fails,  the  tension  to  which  his  faculties  have 
been  wound  up  insures  his  remembrance  of  the 
solution  when  given  to  him,  better  than  half  a 
dozen  repetitions  would.  Observe  again,  that  this 
discipline  necessitates  a  continuous  organization  of 
the  knowledge  he  acquires.  It  is  in  the  very 
nature  of  facts  and  inferences,  assimilated  in  this 
nonnal  manner,  that  they  successively  become  the 
premisses  of  further  conclusions, — the  means  of 
solving  still  further  questions.  Tlie  solution  of 
yesterday's  problem  helps  the  pupil  in  master- 
ing to-day's.  Thus  the  knowledge  is  turned  into 
faculty  as  soon  as  it  is  taken  in,  and  forthwith  aids 
in  the  general  function  of  thinking — does  not  lie 


merely  written  in  the  pages  of  an  internal  lil)rarv, 
as  when  rote-learnt.  Mark  further,  the  impor- 
tance of  the  moral  culture  which  this  constant  self- 
help  involves.  Courage  in  attacking  difheulties, 
patient  concentration  of  the  attention,  perseverance 
through  failures — these  are  characteristics  which 
after-life  specially  requires  ;  and  these  are  charac- 
teristics which  this  system  of  making  the  mind 
work  for  its  food  specially  produces.  That  it  is 
thoroughly  practicable  to  carry  out  instruction  after 
this  fashion  we  can  ourselves  testify  ;  having  been 
in  youth  thus  led  to  successively  solve  the  com- 
paratively complex  problems  of  Persj)ective.  And 
that  leading  teachers  have  been  gradually  tending 
in  this  direction  is  indicated  alike  in  the  saying  of 
Fellenberg,  that  "  the  individual,  independent  ac- 
tivity of  the  pupil  is  of  much  greater  importance 
than  the  ordinary  busy  officiousness  of  many  who 
assume  the  office  of  educators ; "  in  the  opinion 
of  Horace  Mann,  that  "  unfortunately  education 
amongst  us  at  present  consists  too  much  in  idling^ 
not  in  training  'j''''  and  in  the  remark  of  M.  Marcel, 
that  "  what  the  learner  discovers  by  mental  exer- 
tion is  better  known  than  what  is  told  to  him.'' 

Similarly  with  the  correlative  requirement,  that 
the  method  of  culture  pursued  shall  be  one  produc- 
tive of  an  intrinsically  happy  activity, — an  activity 
not  happy  in  virtue  of  extrinsic  rewards  to  be  ob- 
tained, but  in  virtue  of  its  own  healthfulness.  Con- 
formity to  this  requirement  not  only  guards  us 
against  thwarting  the  normal  process  of  evolution, 


but  incidentally  secures  positive  benefits  of  im- 
portance. Unless  we  are  to  return  to  an  ascetic 
morality,  the  maintenance  of  youthful  happiness 
must  be  considered  as  in  itself  a  worthy  aim.  Not 
to  dwell  upon  this,  however,  we  go  on  to  remark 
that  a  pleasurable  state  of  feeling  is  far  more  favour- 
able to  intellectual  action  than  one  of  indifference 
or  disgust.  Every  one  knows  that  things  read, 
heard,  or  seen  with  interest,  are  better  remembered 
than  those  read,  heard,  or  seen  with  apathy.  In 
the  one  case  the  faculties  appealed  to  are  actively 
occupied  with  the  subject  presented ;  in  the  other 
they  are  inactively  occupied  with  it ;  and  the  atten- 
tion is  continually  drawn  away  after  more  attractive 
thoughts.  Hence  the  impressions  are  respectively 
strong  and  weak.  Moreover,  the  intellectual  list- 
lessness  which  a  pupil's  lack  of  interest  in  any  study 
involves,  is  further  complicated  by  his  anxiety,  by 
his  fear  of  consequences,  which  distract  his  attention, 
and  increase  the  difficulty  he  finds  in  bringing  his 
faculties  to  bear  upon  these  facts  that  are  repugnant 
to  them.  Clearly,  therefore,  the  efliciency  of  any 
intellectual  action  will,  other  things  equal,  be  pro- 
portionate to  the  gratification  with  which  it  is  per- 

It  should  be  considered  also,  that  impor- 
tant moral  consequences  depend  upon  the  habitual 
pleasure  or  pain  which  daily  lessons  produce.  Ko 
one  can  compare  the  faces  and  manners  of  two  l)oys 
— the  one  made  happy  by  mastering  interesting 
Bubjects,  and  the  other  made  miserable  by  disgust 


with  his  studies,  by  consequent  faihire,  by  cold 
looks,  by  tlireats,  by  punishment — without  seeiug 
that  the  disposition  of  the  one  is  being  benefited, 
and  that  of  the  other  greatly  injured.  Whoever 
has  marked  the  effect  of  intellectual  success  upon 
the  mind,  and  the  power  of  the  mind  over  tlie 
body,  will  see  that  in  the  one  case  both  temper  and 
health  are  favourably  affected  ;  whilst  in  the  other 
there  is  danger  of  permanent  moroseness,  of  per- 
manent timidity,  and  even  of  permanent  constitu- 
tional depression.  To  all  which  considerations  we 
must  add  the  further  one,  that  the  relationship  be- 
tween teachers  and  their  pupils  is,  other  things 
equal,  rendered  friendly  and  influential,  or  antag- 
onistic and  powerless,  according  as  the  system  of 
culture  produces  liap})iness  or  misery.  Human 
beings  are  at  the  mercy  of  their  associated  ideas. 
A  daily  minister  of  pain  cannot  fail  to  be  regarded 
with  a  secret  dislike,  and  if  he  causes  no  emotions 
but  painful  ones,  will  inevitably  be  hated.  Con- 
versely, he  who  constantly  aids  children  to  their 
ends,  hourly  provides  them  with  the  satisfactions 
of  conquest,  hourly  encourages  them  through  their 
difiiculties  and  sympathizes  in  their  successes,  can- 
not fail  to  be  liked  ;  nay,  if  his  behaviour  is  con- 
sistent throughout,  must  be  loved.  And  when  we 
remember  how  efficient  and  benign  is  the  control 
of  a  master  who  is  felt  to  be  a  friend,  when  com- 
pared with  the  control  of  one  who  is  looked  upon 
with  aversion,  or  at  best  indifference,  we  may  infer 
that  the  indirect  advantages  of  conducting  educa- 


tion  on  the  happiness  principle  do  not  fall  far  short 
of  the  direct  ones.  To  all  who  question  the  possi- 
bility of  acting  out  the  system  here  advocated,  we 
reply  as  before,  that  not  only  does  theory  point  to 
it,  but  experience  commends  it.  To  the  many  ver- 
dicts of  distinguished  teachers  who  since  Pestalozzi's 
time  have  testified  this,  may  be  here  added  that  of 
Professor  Pillans,  who  asserts  that  "  where  young 
people  are  taught  as  they  ought  to  be,  they  are 
quite  as  happy  in  school  as  at  play,  seldom  less 
delighted,  nay,  often  more,  with  the  well-directed 
exercise  of  their  mental  energies,  than  with  that  of 
tlieir  muscular  powers." 

As  suggesting  a  final  reason  for  making  educa- 
tion a  process  of  self-instruction,  and  by  conse- 
quence a  process  of  pleasurable  instruction,  we  may 
advert  to  the  fact  that,  in  proportion  as  it  is  made 
so,  is  there  a  probability  that  education  will  not 
cease  when  school-days  end.  As  long  as  the  ac- 
quisition of  knowledge  is  rendered  habitually  re- 
pugnant, so  long  will  there  be  a  prevailing  tendency 
to  discontinue  it  when  free  from  the  coercion  of 
parents  and  masters.  And  when  the  aequisitiou  of 
knowledge  has  been  rendered  habitually  gratifying, 
then  will  there  be  as  prevailing  a  tendency  to  con- 
tinue, without  superintendence,  that  same  self-culture 
previously  carried  on  under  superintendence.  These 
results  are  inevitable.  While  the  laws  of  mental 
association  remain  true — while  men  dislike  the 
things  and  places  that  suggest  painful  recollec- 
tions, and  delight  in  those  which  call  to  mind  by- 



gone  pleasures — ^painful  lessons  will  make  knowl« 
edge  repulsive,  and  pleasurable  lessons  will  make  it 
attractive.  Tlie  men  to  whom  in  boyliood  informa- 
tion came  in  dreary  tasks  along  with  threats  of 
punishment,  and  who  were  never  led  into  habits  of 
independent  inquiry,  are  unlikely  to  be  students  in 
after  years ;  while  those  to  whom  it  came  in  the 
natural  forms,  at  the  proper  times,  and  who  remem- 
ber its  facts  as  not  only  interesting  in  themselves, 
but  as  the  occasions  of  a  long  series  of  gratifying 
successes,  are  likely  to  continue  through  life  that 
self-instruction  commenced  in  youth. 



Straj^gely  enough,  tlie  most  glaring  defect  in 
our  programmes  of  education  is  entirely  overlooked. 
While  much  is  being  done  in  the  detailed  improve- 
ment of  our  systems  in  respect  both  of  matter  and 
manner,  the  most  pressing  desideratum  has  not  yet 
been  even  recognised  as  a  desideratum.  To  prepare 
the  young  for  the  duties  of  life  is  tacitly  admitted 
by  all  to  be  the  end  which  parents  and  school- 
masters should  have  in  view  ;  and  happily  the  value 
of  the  things  taught,  and  the  goodness  of  the  meth- 
od followed  in  teaching  them,  are  now  ostensibly 
judged  by  their  fitness  to  this  end.  The  propriety 
of  substituting  for  an  exclusively  classical  training 
a  trainino;  in  which  the  modern  lanfi::uai>:es  shall 
have  a  share,  is  argued  on  this  ground.  The  neces- 
sity of  increasing  the  amount  of  science  is  urged 
for  like  reasons.  But  though  some  care  is  taken  to 
fit  youth  of  both  sexes  for  society  and  citizenship-, 
no  care  whatever  is  taken  to  fit  them  for  the  still 
more  important  position  they  will  ultimately  have 
to  fill — the  position  of  parents.  While  it  is  seen 
tliat  for  the  purpose  of  gaining  a  livelihood,  an 
elaborate  preparation  is  needed,  it  appears  to  bo 


tliouglit  that  for  the  bringing  up  of  children,  no 
preparation  whatever  is  needed.  While  many  years 
are  spent  by  a  boy  in  gaining  knowledge,  of  which 
the  chief  value  is  that  it  constitutes  '  the  education 
of  a  gentleman  ; '  and  while  many  years  are  spent 
by  a  girl  in  those  decorative  acquirements  which 
fit  her  for  evening  parties  ;  not  an  hour  is  spent  by 
either  of  them  in  preparation  for  that  gravest  of  all 
responsibilities — the  management  of  a  family.  Is 
it  that  this  responsibility  is  but  a  remote  contin- 
gency ?  On  the  contrary,  it  is  certain  to  devolve 
on  nine  out  of  ten.  Is  it  that  the  discharge  of 
it  is  easy  ?  Certainly  not :  of  all  functions  which 
the  adult  has  to  fulfil  this  is  the  most  diflicult.  Is 
it  that  each  may  be  trusted  by  self-instruction  to  fit 
himself,  or  herself,  for  the  oifice  of  parent  ?  Ko  : 
not  only  is  the  need  for  such  self-instruction  unrecog- 
nised, but  the  complexity  of  the  subject  renders  it 
the  one  of  all  others  in  which  self-instruction  is  least 
likely  to  succeed.  No  rational  plea  can  be  put  for- 
ward for  leaving  the  Art  of  Education  out  of  our 
curriculum.  Whether  as  bearing  upon  the  happi- 
ness of  parents  themselves,  or  whether  as  afi'ecting 
the  characters  and  lives  of  their  children  and  re- 
mote descendants,  we  must  admit  that  a  knowledge 
of  the  right  methods  of  juvenile  culture,  physical, 
intellectual,  and  moral,  is  a  knowledge  second  to 
none  in  importance.  This  topic  should  occupy  the 
highest  and  last  place  in  the  course  of  instruction 
passed  through  by  each  man  and  woman.  As 
physical  maturity  is  marked  by  the  ability  to  prO' 


diice  offspring,  so  mental  maturity  is  marked  by  the 
ability  to  train  those  offspring.  Tlie  subject  vjfiich 
involves  all  other  subjects^  and  therefore  the  subject 
in  which  the  education  of  every  one  should  culminate^ 
is  the  Theory  and  Practice  of  Education. 

In  tlie  absence  of  this  preparation,  the  manage- 
ment of  children,  and  more  especially  the  moral 
management,  is  lamentably  bad.  Parents  either 
never  think  about  the  matter  at  all,  or  else  their 
conclusions  are  crude  and  inconsistent.  Li  most 
cases,  and  especially  on  the  part  of  mothers,  the 
treatment  adopted  on  every  occasion  is  that  which 
the  impulse  of  the  moment  prompts  :  it  springs  not 
from  any  reasoned-out  conviction  as  to  what  will 
most  conduce  to  the  child's  welfare,  but  merely  ex- 
presses the  passing  parental  feelings,  whether  good 
or  ill ;  and  varies  from  hour  to  hour  as  these  feel- 
ings vary.  Or  if  these  blind  dictates  of  passion 
are  supplemented  by  any  definite  doctrines  and 
methods,  they  are  those  that  liave  been  handed 
down  from  the  past,  or  those  suggested  by  the  re- 
membrances of  childliood,  or  those  adopted  from 
nurses  and  servants — methods  devised  not  by  the 
enlightenment,  but  by  the  ignorance  of  the  time. 
Commenting  on  the  chaotic  state  of  opinion  and 
practice  relative  to  family  government,  Richter 
writes  : — 

"  If  the  secret  variances  of  a  large  class  of  ordinary  fathers 
were  brought  to  light,  and  laid  down  as  a  plan  of  studies,  and 
reading  catalogued  for  a  moral  education,  they  would  run 
Mjmewhat  after  this  fashion  : — In  the  first  hour  '  pure  morality 


must  be  read  to  the  child,  either  by  myself  or  the  tutor  ; '  in 
the  second,  '  mixed  morality,  or  that  which  may  he  applied  tn 
one's  own  advantage  ; '  in  the  third,  '  do  you  not  see  that  your 
father  does  so  and  so  ? '  in  the  fourth,  '  you  are  little,  and  this 
is  only  fit  for  grown-up  ])eople  ;  '  in  the  fifth,  '  the  chief  matter 
is  that  you  should  succeed  in  the  world,  and  become  some- 
thing in  the  state ;  '  in  the  sixth,  '  not  the  temporary,  but 
the  eternal,  determines  the  worth  of  a  man  ; '  in  the  seventh, 
'  therefore  rather  suffer  injustice,  and  be  kind  ;  '  in  the  eighth, 
'  but  defend  yourself  bravely  if  any  one  attack  you  ;  '  in  the 
ninth,  '  do  not  make  a  noise,  dear  child  ;  '  in  the  tenth,  '  a  boy 
must  not  sit  so  quiet ;  '  in  the  eleventh,  '  you  must  obey  your 
parents  better ;  '  in  the  twelfth,  '  and  educate  yourself.'  So 
by  the  liourly  change  of  his  principles,  the  father  conceals 
their  untenableness  and  onesidedness.  As  for  his  wife,  she  is 
neither  like  him,  nor  yet  like  that  harlequin  who  came  on  to 
the  stage  with  a  bundle  of  papers  under  each  arm,  and  an- 
swered to  the  inquiry,  what  he  had  under  his  right  arm, 
'orders,'  and  to  what  he  had  under  his  left  arm,  'counter- 
orders.'  But  the  mother  might  be  much  better  compared  to  a 
giant  Briareus,  who  had  a  hundred  arms,  and  a  bundle  of 
papers  under  each." 

Tliis  state  of  things  is  not  to  be  readily  changed. 
Generations  ninst  pass  before  any  great  amelioration 
of  it  can  be  expected.  Like  political  constitutions, 
educational  systems  are  not  made,  but  grow  ;  and 
within  brief  periods  growth  is  insensible.  Slow, 
however,  as  must  be  any  improvement,  even  that 
improvement  implies  the  use  of  means  j  and  among 
the  means  is  discussion. 

We  are  not  among  those  who  believe  in  Lord 
Palmerston's  dogma,  that  "  all  children  are  born 


good."  On  tlio  whole,  the  opposite  dogma,  unten- 
able as  it  is,  seems  to  us  less  wide  of  the  truth. 
Kor  do  we  agree  with  those  who  think  that,  by 
skilful  discipline,  children  may  be  made  altogether 
what  they  should  be.  Contrariwise,  we  are  satisfied 
that  though  imperfections  of  nature  may  be  di- 
minished by  wise  management,  they  cannot  be  re- 
moved by  it.  The  notion  that  an  ideal  humanity 
might  be  forthwith  produced  by  a  perfect  system 
of  education,  is  near  akin  to  that  shadowed  forth  in 
the  poems  of  Shelley,  that  would  mankind  give  up 
their  old  institutions,  ])rejudices,  and  errors,  all  the 
evils  in  the  world  would  at  once  disappear  :  neither 
notion  being  acceptable  to  such  as  have  dispassion- 
ately studied  human  affairs. 

Not  that  we  are  without  sympathy  with  those 
who  entertain  these  too  sanguine  hopes.  Enthu- 
siasm, pushed  even  to  fanaticism,  is  a  useful  motive- 
power — perhaps  an  indispensable  one.  It  is  clear 
that  the  ardent  politician  would  never  undergo  the 
labours  and  make  the  sacrifices  he  does,  did  he  not 
believe  that  the  reform  he  fights  for  is  the  one  thing 
needful.  But  for  his  conviction  that  drunkenness 
is  the  root  of  almost  all  social  evils,  the  teetotaller 
would  agitate  far  less  energetically.  In  philan- 
thropy as  in  other  things  great  advantage  results 
from  division  of  labour  ;  and  that  there  may  be 
division  of  labour,  each  class  of  philanthropists 
must  be  more  or  less  subordinated  to  its  function — 
must  have  an  exaggerated  faith  in  its  work.  Hence, 
of  those  who  regard  education,  intellectual  or  moral, 


as  the  panacea,  we  may  sav  that  their  undue  ex- 
pectations are  not  without  use  ;  and  that  perliaps  it 
is  part  of  the  beneiicent  order  of  things  that  their 
confidence  cannot  be  shaken. 

Even  were  it  true,  however,  that  by  some  pos- 
sible system  of  moral  government  children  could 
be  moulded  into  the  desired  form  ;  and  even  could 
every  parent  be  duly  indoctrinated  with  this  sys- 
tem ;  we  should  still  be  far  from  achieving  the 
object  in  view.  It  is  forgotten  that  the  carrying 
out  of  any  such  system  presupposes,  on  the  part  of 
adults,  a  degree  of  intelligence,  of  goodness,  of  self- 
control,  possessed  by  no  one.  Tlie  great  error  made 
by  those  who  discuss  questions  of  juvenile  disci- 
pline, is  in  ascribing  all  the  faults  and  difficulties 
to  the  children,  and  none  to  the  parents.  The 
current  assumption  resi^ecting  family  government, 
as  respecting  national  government,  is,  that  the 
virtues  are  with  the  rulers  and  the  vices  with 
the  ruled.  Judging  by  educational  theories,  men 
and  women  are  entirely  transfigured  in  the  do- 
mestic relation.  The  citizens  we  do  business  with, 
the  people  we  meet  in  the  world,  we  all  know  to  be 
very  imperfect  creatures.  In  the  daily  scandals,  in 
the  quarrels  of  friends,  in  bankruptcy  disclosures, 
in  lawsuits,  in  police  reports,  we  have  constantly 
thrust  before  us  the  pervading  selfishness,  dishon- 
esty, brutality.  Yet  when  we  criticise  nursery 
management,  and  canvass  the  misbehaviour  of  ju- 
veniles, we  habitually  take  for  granted  that  these 
culpable  men  and  women  are  free  from  moral  de- 


/inquencj  in  the  treatment  of  tlieir  offspring  !  So 
far  is  this  from  the  truth,  that  we  do  not  hesitate  to 
say  that  to  parental  misconduct  is  traceable  a  great 
part  of  the  domestic  disorder  commonly  ascribed  to 
the  perversity  of  children.  We  do  not  assert  this 
of  the  more  sympathetic  and  self  restrained,  among 
whom  we  hope  most  of  our  readers  may  be  classed, 
but  we  assert  it  of  the  mass.  What  kind  of  moral 
discipline  is  to  be  expected  from  a  mother  who, 
time  after  time,  angrily  shakes  her  infant  because 
it  will  not  suckle  her,  which  we  once  saw  a  mother 
do  ?  How  niucli  love  of  justice  and  generosity  is 
likely  to  be  instilled  by  a  father- who,  on  having  his 
attention  drawn  by  his  child's  scream  to  the  fact 
that  its  finger  is  jarnnicd  between  the  window  sash 
and  the  sill,  forthwith  begins  to  beat  the  child  in- 
stead of  releasing  it  ?  Yet  that  there  are  snch 
fathers  is  testified  to  us  by  an  eye-witness.  Or,  to 
take  a  still  stronger  case,  also  vouched  for  by  direct 
testimony — what  are  the  educational  prospects  of 
the  boy  who,  on  being  taken  home  with  a  dislocated 
thigh,  is  saluted  with  a  castigation  ?  It  is  true  that 
these  are  extreme  instances — instances  exhibiting 
in  human  beings  tliat  blind  instinct  which  impels 
brutes  to  destroy  the  weakly  and  injured  of  their 
own  race.  But  extreme  though  they  are,  they 
t}^ify  feelings  and  conduct  daily  observable  in 
many  families.  Who  has  not  repeatedly  seen  a 
child  slapped  by  nurse  or  parent  for  a  fretfulness 
probably  resulting  from  bodily  derangement  ?  Who, 
when  watching  a  mother  snatch  up  a  fallen  littlo 


one,  has  not  often  traced,  Loth  in  the  rough  man- 
ner and  in  the  sharply-uttered  exclamation — '  You 
stupid  little  thing ! ' — an  irascibility  foretelling 
endless  future  squabbles  ?  Is  there  not  in  the  harsh 
tones  in  -which  a  father  bids  his  children  be  quiet, 
evidence  of  a  deficient  fellow-feeling  with  them  ? 
Are  not  the  constant,  and  often  quite  needless, 
thwartings  that  the  3'oung  experience — the  injunc- 
tions to  sit  still,  which  an  active  child  cannot  obey 
without  sufi'ering  great  nervous  irritation,  the  com- 
mands not  to  look  out  of  the  window  when  travel- 
ling by  railway,  which  on  a  child  of  any  intelli- 
gence entails  serious  deprivation — are  not  these 
thwartings,  we  ask,  signs  of  a  terrible  lack  of  sym- 
pathy ?  The  truth  is,  that  the  difliculties  of  moral 
education  are  necessarily  of  dual  origin — necessar- 
ily  result  from  the  combined  faults  of  parents  and 
children.  If  hereditary  transmission  is  a  law  of 
nature,  as  every  naturalist  knows  it  to  be,  and  as 
our  daily  remarks  and  current  proverbs  admit  it  to 
be ;  then  on  the  average  of  cases,  the  defects  of 
children  mirror  the  defects  of  their  parents  ; — on  the 
average  of  cases,  we  say,  because,  complicated  as 
the  results  are  by  the  transmitted  traits  of  remoter 
ancestors,  the  correspondence  is  not  special  but 
only  general.  And  if,  on  the  average  of  cases,  this 
inheritance  of  defects  exists,  then  the  evil  passions 
which  parents  have  to  check  in  their  children  imply 
like  evil  passions  in  themselves  :  hidden,  it  may  be, 
from  the  public  eye  ;or  perhaps  obscured  by  other 
feelings  ;  but  still  there.     Evidently,  therefore,  the 


geoeral  practice  of  any  ideal  system  of  discipline  is 
hopeless  :  parents  are  not  good  enough. 

Moreover,  even  were  there  methods  by  which 
the  desired  end  could  be  at  once  effected,  and  even 
had  fathers  and  mothers  sufficient  insight,  sym- 
pathy, and  self-command  to  employ  these  methods 
consistently,  it  might  still  be  contended  that  it 
would  be  of  no  use  to  reform  family  discipline  faster 
than  other  things  are  reformed.  What  is  it  that 
we  aim  to  do  ?  Is  it  not  that  education  of  what- 
ever kind  has  for  its  proximate  end  to  prepare  a 
child  for  the  business  of  life — to  produce  a  citizen 
who,  at  the  same  time  that  he  is  well  conducted,  is 
also  able  to  make  his  way  in  the  world  ?  And  does 
not  making  his  way  in  the  world  (by  which  we 
mean,  not  the  acquirement  of  wealth,  but  of  the 
means  requisite  for  properly  bringing  up  a  family) 
— does  not  this  imply  a  certain  iitness  for  the  world 
as  it  now  is  ?  And  if  by  any  system  of  culture  an 
ideal  human  being  could  be  produced,  is  it  not 
doubtful  whether  he  would  be  ht  for  the  world  as 
it  now  is  ?  May  we  not,  on  the  contrary,  suspect 
tliat  his  too  keen  sense  of  rectitude,  and  too  elevated 
standard  of  conduct,  would  make  life  alike  intoler- 
able and  impossible  ?  And  however  admirable  the 
results  might  be,  considered  individually,  would  it 
not  be  self-defeating  in  so  far  as  society  and  poster- 
ity are  concerned  ?  It  may,  we  think,  be  argued 
with  much  reason,  that  as  in  a  nation  so  in  a  fam- 
ily, the  kind  of  government  is,  on  the  whole,  about 
as  good  as  the  general  state  of  human  nature  per- 


mits  it  to  be.  It  may  be  said  that  in  the  one  ease, 
as  in  the  other,  the  average  character  of  the  people 
determines  the  quality  of  the  control  exercised.  It 
may  be  inferred  that  in  both  cases  amelioration  of 
the  average  character  leads  to  an  amelioration  of 
system  ;  and  further,  that  were  it  possible  to  ame- 
liorate the  system  ■without  the  average  character 
being  first  ameliorated,  evil,  rather  than  good, 
would  follow.  It  may  be  urged  that  such  degree 
of  harshness  as  children  now  experience  from  their 
parents  and  teachers,  is  but  a  preparation  for  that 
greater  harshness  which  they  will  meet  with  on 
entering  the  world ;  and  that  were  it  possible  for 
parents  and  teachers  to  behave  towards  them  with 
perfect  equity  and  entire  sympathy,  it  would  but 
intensify  the  sufferings  which  the  selfishness  of  men 
must,  in  after  life,  inflict  on  them.* 

*  This  is  the  plea  put  in  by  some  for  the  rough  treatment  ex- 
perienced by  boys  at  our  public  schools  ;  where,  as  it  is  said,  they 
are  introduced  to  a  miniature  world  whose  imperfections  and  hard- 
ships prepare  them  for  those  of  the  real  world  :  and  it  must  be 
admitted  that  the  plea  has  some  force.  But  it  is  a  very  insuflScient 
plea.  For  whereas  domestic  and  school  discipline,  though  they 
should  not  be  very  much  better  than  the  discipline  of  adult  life, 
should  at  any  rate  bo  somewhat  better;  the  discipline  which  boys 
m'^et  with  at  Eton,  Winchester,  Harrow,  &c.,  is  much  worse  than 
that  of  adult  life — much  more  unjust,  cruel,  brutal.  Instead  of  being 
an  aid  to  human  progress,  which  all  culture  should  be,  the  culture 
©f  our  public  schools,  by  accustoming  boys  to  a  despotic  form  of 
government  and  an  intercourse  regulated  by  brute  force,  tends  to  fit 
them  for  a  lower  state  of  society  than  that  which  exists.  And 
chiefly  recruited  as  our  legislature  is  from  among  those  who  are 
brought  up  at  these  schools,  this  barbarizing  influence  becomes  a 
serious  hindrance  to  national  progress. 


"  But  does  not  this  prove  too  much  ?  "  some  one 
will  ask.  "  If  no  system  of  moral  culture  can  forth- 
with  make  children  altogether  what  they  should 
be ;  if,  even  were  there  a  system  that  would  do 
this,  existing  parents  are  too  imperfect  to  carry  it 
out ;  and  if  even  could  such  a  system  be  success- 
fully caried  out,  its  results  would  be  disastrously 
incongruous  with  the  present  state  of  society  ;  does 
it  not  follow  that  a  reform  in  the  system  now  in 
use  is  neither  practicable  nor  desirable  ?  "  No.  It 
merely  follows  that  reform  in  domestic  government 
must  go  on,  pari  passu,  "with  other  reforms.  It 
merely  follows  that  methods  of  discipline  neither 
can  be  nor  should  be  ameliorated,  except  hy  instal- 
ments. It  merely  follows  that  the  dictates  of  ab- 
stract rectitude  will,  in  practice,  inevitably  be  sub- 
ordinated by  the  present  state  of  human  nature — 
by  the  imperfections  alike  of  children,  of  parents, 
and  of  society  ;  and  can  only  be  better  fulfilled  as 
the  general  character  becomes  better. 

"  At  any  rate,  then,"  may  rejoin  our  critic,  "  it 
is  clearly  nseless  to  set  up  any  ideal  standard  of 
family  discipline.  Tliere  can  be  no  advantage  in 
elaborating  and  recommending  methods  that  are  in 
advance  of  the  time."  Again  "we  must  contend  for 
the  contrary.  Just  as  in  the  case  of  political  gov- 
ernment, though  pure  rectitude  may  be  at  present 
impracticable,  it  is  requisite  to  know  where  the 
right  lies,  so  that  the  changes  we  make  may  be 
Urtjoards  the  right  instead  of  aicay  from  it ;  so  in 
the  case  of  domestic  government,  an  ideal  must  be 


upheld,  that  there  may  be  gradual  approximations 
to  it.  We  need  fear  no  evil  consequences  from  the 
maintenance  of  such  an  ideal.  On  the  average  the 
constitutional  conservatism  of  mankind  is  always 
strong  enough  to  prevent  a  too  rapid  change.  So 
admirable  are  the  arrangements  of  things  that  until 
men  have  grown  up  to  the  level  of  a  higher  belief, 
they  cannot  receive  it :  nominally,  they  may  hold 
it,  but  not  virtually.  And  even  when  the  truth 
gets  recognised,  the  obstacles  to  conformity  with  it 
are  so  persistent  as  to  outlive  the  patience  of  phi- 
lanthropists and  even  philosophers.  We  may  be 
quite  sure,  therefore,  that  the  many  difficulties 
standing  in  the  way  of  a  normal  government  of 
children,  will  always  put  an  adequate  check  upon 
the  efforts  to  realize  it. 

With  these  preliminary  explanations,  let  us  go 
on  to  consider  the  true  aims  and  methods  of  moral 
education — moral  education,  strictly  so  called,  we 
mean  ;  for  we  do  not  j^ropose  to  enter  upon  the 
question  of  religious  education  as  an  aid  to  the 
education  exclusively  moral.  Tliis  we  omit  as  a 
topic  better  dealt  with  separately.  After  a  few 
pages  devoted  to  the  settlement  of  general  prin- 
ciples, during  the  perusal  of  which  we  bespeak  the 
reader's  patience,  we  shall  aim  by  illustrations  to 
make  clear  the  right  methods  of  parental  behaviour 
in  the  hourly  occurring  difficulties  of  family  gov- 

When  a  child  falls,  or  runs  its  head  against  the 


table,  it  suffers  a  pain,  the  remembrance  of  wMcb 
tends  to  make  it  more  careful  for  the  future  ;  and 
by  an  occasional  repetition  of  like  experiences,  it  is 
eventually  disciplined  into  a  proper  guidance  of  its 
movements.  If  it  lays  hold  of  the  fire-bars,  thrusts 
its  linger  into  the  candle-flame,  or  sj)ills  boiling 
water  on  any  part  of  its  skin,  the  resulting  burn 
or  scald  is  a  lesson  not  easily  forgotten.  So  deep 
an  impression  is  produced  by  one  or  two  such 
events,  that  afterwards  no  persuasion  will  induce  it 
again  to  disregard  the  laws  of  its  constitution  in 
these  ways. 

Now  in  these  and  like  cases,  oSTature  illustrates 
to  us  in  the  simplest  way,  the  true  theory  and 
practice  of  moral  discipline — a  theory  and  practice 
which,  however  much  they  may  seem  to  the  super- 
ficial like  those  commonly  received,  we  shall  find  on 
examination  to  differ  from  them  very  widely. 

Observe,  in  the  first  place,  that  in  bodily  in- 
juries and  their  penalties  we  have  misconduct  and 
its  consequences  reduced  to  their  simplest  forms. 
Though,  according  to  tlieir  popular  acceptations, 
right  and  wrony  are  words  scarcely  applicable  to 
actions  that  have  none  but  direct  bodily  effects ; 
yet  whoever  considers  the  matter  will  see  that  such 
actions  must  be  as  much  classifiable  under  these 
heads  as  any  other  actions.  From  whatever  basis 
they  start,  all  theories  of  morality  agree  in  con- 
sidering that  conduct  whose  total  results,  immediate 
and  remote,  are  beneficial,  is  good  conduct ;  while 
conduct  whose  total  results,  immediate  and  remote 


are  injurious,  is  bad  conduct.  The  liappiness  or 
misery  caused  by  it  are  tlie  ultimate  standards  by 
■wbicli  all  men  judge  of  behaviour.  We  consider 
drunkenness  wrong  because  of  the  physical  degen- 
eracy and  accompanying  moral  evils  entailed  on 
the  transgressor  and  his  dependents.  Did  theft 
uniforndy  give  pleasure  both  to  taker  and  loser,  we 
should  not  find  it  in  our  catalogue  of  sins.  "Were 
it  conceivable  that  benevolent  actions  multiplied 
human  pains,  we  should  condemn  them — should 
not  consider  them  benevolent.  It  needs  but  to 
read  the  first  newspaj)er  leader,  or  listen  to  any 
conversation  touching  social  affairs,  to  see  that  acts 
of  parliament,  political  movements,  philanthropic 
agitations,  in  common  with  the  doings  of  individ- 
uals, are  judged  by  their  anticipated  results  in 
multiplying  the  pleasures  or  pains  of  men.  And  if 
on  looking  on  all  secondary  superinduced  ideas,  we 
find  these  to  be  our  ultimate  tests  of  right  and 
wrong,  we  cannot  refuse  to  class  purely  physical 
actions  as  right  or  wrong  according  to  the  beneficial 
or  detrimental  results  they  produce. 

Kote,  in  the  second  place,  the  character  of  the 
punishments  by  which  these  physical  transgressions 
are  prevented.  Punishments,  we  call  them,  in  the 
absence  of  a  better  word  ;  for  they  are  not  punish- 
ments in  the  literal  sense.  They  are  not  artificial 
and  unnecessary  inflictior.s  of  pain  ;  but  are  simply 
the  beneficent  checks  to  actions  that  are  essentially 
at  variance  with  bodily  welfare — checks  in  the  ab- 
sence of  which  life  would  quickly  be  destroyed  by 


bodily  injuries.  It  is  the  peculiarity  of  these  pen- 
alties, if  we  must  so  call  them,  that  they  are  noth- 
ing more  than  the  unavoidable  consequences  of  the 
deeds  which  they  follow :  they  are  nothing  more 
than  the  inevitable  reactions  entailed  by  the  child's 

Let  it  be  further  borne  in  mind  that  these  pain- 
ful reactions  are  proportionate  to  the  degree  in 
which  the  organic  laws  have  been  transgressed.  A 
slight  accident  brings  a  slight  pain,  a  more  serious 
one,  a  greater  pain.  When  a  child  tumbles  over 
the  door-step,  it  is  not  ordained  that  it  shall  sufler 
in  excess  of  the  amount  necessary,  with  the  view 
of  making  it  still  more  cautious  than  the  necessary 
suffering  will  make  it.  But  from  its  daily  expe- 
rience it  is  left  to  learn  the  greater  or  less  penalties 
of  greater  or  less  errors ;  and  to  behave  accord- 

And  then  mark,  lastly,  that  these  natural  reac- 
tions which  follow  the  child's  wrong  actions,  are 
constant,  direct,  unhesitating,  and  not  to  be  es- 
caped. No  threats  :  but  a  silent,  rigorous  perform- 
ance. If  a  child  runs  a  pin  into  its  finger,  pain 
follows.  If  it  does  it  again,  there  is  again  the  same 
result :  and  so  on  perpetually.  In  all  its  dealings 
with  surrounding  inorganic  nature  it  finds  this  un- 
swerving persistence,  which  listens  to  no  excuse, 
and  from  which  there  is  no  appeal ;  and  very  soon 
recognising  this  stern  though  beneficent  discipline, 
it  becomes  extremely  careful  not  to  transgress. 

Still  more  sio-nificant  will  these  cceneral  truths 



a])pcar,  wlien  we  reracinber  tliat  they  hold  tlirough- 
out  adult  life  as  well  as  throughout  infantine  life. 
It  is  by  an  experimentally-gained  knowledge  of  the 
natural  consequences,  that  men  and  women  are 
checked  when  they  go  wrong.  After  home  educa- 
tion has  ceased,  and  when  there  are  no  longer  par- 
ents and  teachers  to  forbid  this  or  that  kind  of 
conduct,  there  comes  into  play  a  discipline  like  that 
by  which  the  young  child  is  taught  its  first  lessons 
in  self-guidance.  K  the  youth  entering  upon  the 
business  of  life  idles  away  his  time  and  fulfils  slowly 
or  unskilfully  the  duties  entrusted  to  him,  there  by- 
and-bye  follows  the  natural  penalty  :  he  is  dis- 
charged, and  left  to  suffer  for  awhile  the  eyils  of 
relatiye  poyerty.  On  the  unpunetual  man,  fjiiling 
alike  his  appointments  of  business  and  pleasure, 
there  continually  fall  the  consequent  inconveniences, 
losses,  and  deprivations.  Tlie  avaricious  tradesman 
who  charges  too  high  a  rate  of  profit,  loses  his  cus- 
tomers, and  so  is  checked  in  his  greediness.  Di- 
minishing practice  teaches  the  inattentive  doctor  to 
bestow  more  trouble  on  his  patients.  The  too 
credulous  creditor  and  the  over-sanguine  specula- 
tor alike  learn  by  the  difficulties  which  rashness 
entails  on  them,  the  necessity  of  being  more  cau- 
tious in  their  engagements.  And  so  throughout 
the  life  of  every  citizen.  In  the'  quotatit^n  so  often 
made  apropos  of  these  cases — "  Tlie  burnt  child 
dreads  the  fire  " — we  see  not  only  that  the  analogy 
between  this  social  discipline  and  Xature's  early 
discipline  of  infants  is  universally  recognised  ;  but 

nature's  method  with  adults.  177 

we  also  see  an  implied  conviction  that  this  disci- 
pline is  of  the  most  efficient  kind.     Nay  more,  this 
conviction  is  not  only  implied,  but  distinctly  stated* 
.Every  one  has  heard  othoi-s  confess  that  only  by 
''  dearly  bought  experience  "  had  they  been  induced 
io  give  np  some  bad  or  foolish  course  of  conduct 
fonnerly  pursued.     Every  one  has  heard,  in  the 
criticisms  passed  on  the  doings  of  this  spendthrift 
or  the  other  speculator,  the  remark  that  advice  was 
useless,  and  that  nothing  but  "  bitter  experience  " 
would  produce  any  effect :   nothing,  that  is,  but 
suffering  the   unavoidable  consequences.     And  if 
further  proof  be  needed  that  the  penalty  of  the 
natural  reaction  is  not  only  the  most  efficient,  but 
that  no  humanly-devised  penalty  can  replace  it,  we 
have  such  further  proof  in  the  notorious  ill-success 
of  our  various  penal  systems.      Out  of  the  many 
methods  of  criminal  discipline  that  have  been  pro- 
posed and  legally  enforced,  none  have  answered  the 
expectations  of  their  advocates.      Not   only  have 
artificial  punishments  failed  to  produce  reformation, 
but  they  have  in  many  cases  increased  the  criminal- 
ity.     The  only  successful  reformatories  are  those 
privately-established  ones  which  have  approximated 
their  regime  to  the  method  of  Nature — which  have 
done  little  more  than  administer  the  natural  conse- 
quences of  criminal  conduct :    the  natural  conse° 
quences  being,  that  by  imprisonment  or  other  re= 
straint,  the  criminal  shall  have  his  liberty  of  action 
diminished  as  much  as  is  needful  for  the  safety  of 
eociety ;  and  that  he  shall  be  made  to  maintain  hinr 


self  while  living  under  this  restraint.  Tlius  we  see 
not  only  that  the  discipline  by  which  the  young  child 
is  so  successfully  taught  to  regulate  its  movements 
is  also  the  discipline  by  which  the  great  mass  of 
adults  are  kept  in  order,  and  more  or  less  improved ; 
but  that  the  discipline  humanly-devised  for  the 
worst  adults,  fails  when  it  diverges  from  this  divine- 
ly-ordained discipline,  and  begins  to  succeed  when 
it  approximates  to  it. 

Have  we  not  here,  then,  the  guiding  principle 
of  moral  education  ?  Must  we  not  infer  that  the 
system  so  beneficent  in  its  effects,  alike  during  in- 
fancy and  maturity,  will  be  equally  beneficent 
throughout  youth  ?  Can  any  one  believe  that  the 
method  which  answers  so  well  in  the  first  and  the 
last  divisions  of  life  will  not  answer  in  the  inter- 
mediate division  ?  Is  it  not  manifest  that  as  "  min- 
isters and  interpreters  of  Kature  "  it  is  the  function 
of  parents  to  see  that  their  children  habitually  ex- 
perience the  true  consequences  of  their  conduct — 
the  natural  reactions  :  neither  warding  them  ofi", 
nor  intensifying  them,  nor  putting  artificial  conse- 
quences in  place  of  them  ?  No  unprejudiced  reader 
will  hesitate  in  his  assent. 

Probably,  however,  not  a  few  will  contend  that 
already  most  parents  do  this — that  the  punisiiments 
they  inflict  are,  in  the  majority  of  cases,  the  true 
consequences  of  ill-conduct — that  parental  anger, 
renting  itself  in  harsh  words  and  deeds,  is  the  re- 
sult  of  a  child's  trans<j;ression — and  that,  in   tlie 


Buffering,  physical  or  moral,  which  the  child  is 
subject  to,  it  experiences  the  natural  reaction  of  its 
misbehaviour.  Along  with  much  error  this  asser- 
tion, doubtless,  contains  some  truth.  It  is  unques- 
tionable that  the  displeasure  of  fathers  and  mothers 
is  a  true  consequence  of  juvenile  delinquency  ;  and 
that  the  manifestation  of  it  is  a  normal  check  upon 
such  delinquency.  It  is  unquestionable  that  the 
scoldings,  and  threats,  and  blows,  which  a  passion- 
ate parent  visits  on  offending  little  ones,  are  effects 
actually  produced  in  such  a  parent  by  their  of- 
fences ;  and  so  are,  in  some  sort,  to  be  considered 
as  among  the  natural  reactions  of  their  wrong  ac- 
tions. And  we  are  by  no  means  prepared  to  say 
that  these  modes  of  treatment  are  not  relatively 
right — right,  that  is,  in  relation  to  the  uncontrol- 
lable cliildren  of  ill-controlled  adults  ;  and  right  in 
relation  to  a  state  of  society  in  which  such  ill-con- 
trolled adults  make  up  the  mass  of  the  people.  As 
already  suggested,  educational  systems,  like  politi- 
cal and  other  institutions,  are  generally  as  good  as 
the  state  of  human  nature  permits.  The  barbarous 
children  of  barbarous  parents  are  probably  only  to 
be  restrained  by  the  barbarous  methods  which  such 
parents  spontaneously  employ  ;  while  submission 
to  these  barbarous  methods  is  perhaps  the  best  prep- 
aration such  children  can  have  for  the  barbarous 
society  in  which  they  are  presently  to  play  a  part. 
Conversely,  the  civilized  members  of  a  civilized 
society  will  spontaneously  manifest  their  dis])leas- 
ure  in  less  violent  ways — will  spontaneously  uae 


milder  measures  :  measures  strong  enough  for  their 
better-natured  children.  Tlius  it  is  doubtless  true 
that,  in  so  far  as  the  expression  of  parental  feeling 
is  concerned,  the  principle  of  the  natural  reaction 
is  always  more  or  less  followed.  The  system  of 
domestic  government  ever  gravitates  towards  its 
right  form. 

But  now  observe  two  important  facts.  In  the 
first  place,  observe  that,  in  states  of  rapid  transition 
like  ours,  which  witness  a  long-drawn  battle  be- 
tween old  and  new  theories  and  old  and  new  prac- 
tices, the  educational  methods  in  use  are  apt  to 
be  considerably  out  of  harmony  with  the  times. 
In  deference  to  dogmas  fit  only  for  the  ages  that 
uttered  them,  many  parents  inflict  punishments 
that  do  violence  to  their  own  feelings,  and  so  visit 
on  their  children  -jmnatural  reactions  ;  while  other 
parents,  enthusiastic  in  their  hopes  of  immediate 
perfection,  rush  to  the  opposite  extreme.  And  then 
observe,  in  the  second  place,  that  the  discipline  on 
which  we  are  insisting  is  not  so  much  the  expe- 
rience of  parental  approbation  or  disapprobation, 
which,  in  most  cases,  is  only  a  secondary  conse- 
quence of  a  child's  conduct ;  but  it  is  the  experience 
of  those  results  which  would  naturally  flow  from 
the  conduct  in  the  absence  of  parental  opinion  or 
interference.  Tlie  truly  instructive  and  salutary 
consequences  are  not  those  inflicted  by  parents 
when  they  take  upon  themselves  to  be  Kature's 
proxies ;  but  they  are  those  inflicted  by  Nature 
herself.     We  will  endeavour  to  make  this  distinc- 


tion  clear  hj  a  few  illustrations,  wliicli,  while  they 
show  what  we  mean  by  natural  reactions  as  con- 
trasted with  artificial  ones,  will  alford  some  directly 
practical  suggestions. 

In  every  family  where  there  are  young  children 
there  almost  daily  occur  cases  of  what  mothers  and 
servants  call  "  making  a  litter."  A  child  has  had 
out  its  box  of  toys,  and  leaves  them  scattered  about 
the  floor.  Or  a  handful  of  flowers,  brought  in  from 
a  morning  walk,  is  presently  seen  disj)ersed  over 
tables  and  chairs.  Or  a  little  girl,  making  doll's- 
clothes,  disfigures  the  room  with  shreds.  In  most 
cases  the  trouble  of  rectifying  this  disorder  falls 
anywhere  but  in  the  right  place  :  if  in  the  nursery, 
the  nurse  herself,  with  many  grumblings  about 
"  tiresome  little  things,"  &c.,  undertakes  the  task  ; 
if  below  stairs,  the  task  usually  devolves  either  on 
one  of  the  elder  children  or  on  the  housemaid  ;  the 
transgi-essor  being  visited  with  nothing  more  than 
a  scolding.  In  this  very  simple  case,  however, 
there  are  many  parents  wise  enough  to  follow  out, 
more  or  less  consistently,  the  normal  course — that 
of  making  the  child  itself  collect  the  toys  or  shreds. 
The  labour  of  putting  things  in  order  is  the  true 
consequence  of  having  put  them  in  disorder.  Every 
trader  in  his  oflSce,  every  wife  in  her  household, 
has  daily  experience  of  this  fact.  And  if  education 
be  a  preparation  for  the  business  of  life,  then  every 
child  should  also,  from  the  beginning,  have  daily 
experience  of  this  fact.  If  the  natural  penalty  be 
met  by  any  refractory  behaviour  (which   it  may 


perhaps  be  where  the  general  system  of  moral  dis- 
cipliue  previously  j^ursued  has  been  bad),  then  the 
proper  course  is  to  let  the  child  feel  the  ulterior  re- 
action consequent  on  its  disobedience.  Having  re- 
fused or  neglected  to  jiick  up  and  put  away  the 
things  it  has  scattered  about,  and  having  thereby 
entailed  the  trouble  of  doing  this  on  some  one  else, 
the  child  should,  on  subsequent  occasions,  be  denied 
the  means  of  giving  this  trouble.  "When  next  it 
petitions  for  its  toy-box,  the  reply  of  its  mannna 
should  be — "Tlie  last  time  you  had  your  toys  you 
left  them  lying  on  the  floor,  and  Jane  had  to  pick 
them  up.  Jane  is  too  busy  to  pick  up  every  day 
the  things  you  leave  about ;  and  I  cannot  do  it 
myself.  So  that,  as  you  will  not  put  away  your 
toys  when  you  have  done  with  them,  I  cannot  let 
you  have  them."  Tliis  is  obviously  a  natural  con- 
sequence, neither  increased  nor  lessened  ;  and  must 
be  so  recognised  by  a  child.  The  penalty  comes, 
too,  at  the  moment  when  it  is  most  keenly  felt.  A 
new-born  desire  is  balked  at  the  moment  of  antici- 
pated gratification  ;  and  the  strong  impression  so 
produced  can  scarcely  fail  to  have  an  effect  on  the 
future  conduct :  an  effect  which,  by  consistent  rep- 
etition, will  do  whatever  can  be  done  in  curing 
the  fault.  Add  to  which,  that,  by  this  method,  a 
child  is  early  taught  the  lesson  which  cannot  be 
leanit  too  soon,  that  in  this  world  of  ours  pleasures 
are  rightly  to  be  obtahied  only  by  labour. 

Take  another  case.     Not  long  since  we  had  fre- 
quently to  listen  to  the  reprimands  visited  on  a 


little  girl  who  was  scarcely  ever  ready  in  time  for 
the  daily  walk.  Of  eager  disposition,  and  apt  to 
become  thoroughly  absorbed  in  the  occupation  of 
the  moment,  Constance  never  thought  of  putting 
on  her  things  until  the  rest  were  ready.  Tlie  gov- 
erness and  the  other  children  had  almost  invariably 
to  wait ;.  and  from  the  mamma  there  almost  in- 
variably came  the  same  scolding.  Utterly  as  this 
system  failed  it  never  occurred  to  the  mamma  to 
let  Constance  experience  the  natural  penalty.  Nor, 
indeed,  would  she  try  it  when  it  was  suggested  to 
her.  In  the  world  the  penalty  of  being  behind 
time  is  the  loss  of  some  advantage  that  would  else 
have  been  gained  :  the  train  is  gone  ;  or  the  steam- 
boat is  just  leaving  its  moorings  ;  or  the  best  things 
in  the  market  are  sold  ;  or  all  the  good  seats  in 
the  concert-room  are  filled.  And  every  one,  in 
cases  perpetually  occurring,  may  see  that  it  is  the 
prospective  deprivations  entailed  by  being  too  late 
which  prevent  people  from  being  too  late.  Is  not 
the  inference  obvious  ?  Should  not  these  prospec- 
tive deprivations  control  the  child's  conduct  also  ? 
If  Constance  is  not  ready  at  the  appointed  time,  the 
natural  result  is  that  of  being  left  behind,  and  losing 
her  walk.  And  no  one  can,  we  think,  doubt  that 
after  having  once  or  twice  remained  at  home  while 
the  rest  were  enjoying  themselves  in  the  fields,  and 
after  having  felt  that  this  loss  of  a  nmch-prized 
gratification  was  solely  due  to  want  of  promptitude, 
some  amendment  would  take  place.  At  any  rate, 
the  measure  would  be  more  efi'ective  than  that  per' 


petiial  scolding  wliicli  ends  only  in  producing  cal' 

Again,  when  children,  witli  more  than  nsnal 
carelessness,  break  or  lose  the  things  given  to  them, 
the  natural  penalty — the  penalty  which  makes 
grown-up  persons  more  careful — is  the  consequent 
inconvenience.  Tlie  want  of  the  lost  or  damaged 
article,  and  the  cost  of  supplying  its  place,  are  the 
experiences  by  which  men  and  women  are  disci- 
plined in  these  matters  ;  and  the  experience  of  chil- 
dren should  be  as  much  as  possible  assimilated  to 
theirs.  We  do  not  refer  to  that  early  period  at 
which  toys  are  pulled  to  pieces  in  the  process  of 
learning  their  physical  properties,  and  at  which  the 
results  of  carelessness  cannot  be  understood  ;  but  to 
a  later  period,  Avhen  the  meaning  and  advantages 
of  property  are  perceived.  "When  a  boy,  old 
enough  to  possess  a  penknife,  uses  it  so  roughly  as 
to  snap  the  blade,  or  leaves  it  in  the  grass  by  some 
hedge-side,  where  he  was  cutting  a  stick,  a  thought- 
less parent,  or  some  indulgent  relative,  will  com- 
monly forthwith  buy  him  another;  not  seeing  that, 
by  doing  this,  a  valuable  lesson  is  lost.  In  such  a 
case,  a  father  may  properly  explain  that  penknives 
cost  money,  and  that  to  get  money  requires  laboui- ; 
that  he  cannot  afford  to  purchase  new  penknives  for 
one  who  loses  or  breaks  them  ;  and  that  until  he 
sees  evidence  of  greater  carefulness  he  must  decline 
to  make  good  the  loss.  A  ])arallel  discipline  may 
be  used  as  a  means  of  checking  extravagance. 

These  few  familiar  instances,  here  chosen  be 


cause  of  the  simplicity  witli  which  they  illustrate 
our  point,  will  make  clear  to  every  one  the  distinc- 
tion between  those  natural  penalties  which  we  con- 
tend are  the  truly  efficient  ones,  and  those  artificial 
penalties  which  parents  commonly  substitute  for 
them.  Before  going  on  to  exhibit  the  higher  and 
subtler  applications  of  this  principle,  let  us  note  its 
many  and  great  superiorities  over  tlie  principle,  or 
rather  the  empirical  practice,  which  prevails  in 
most  families. 

In  the  first  place,  right  conceptions  of  cause  and 
effect  are  early  formed  ;  and  by  frequent  and  con- 
sistent experience  are  eventually  rendered  definite 
and  complete.  Proper  conduct  in  life  is  much 
better  guaranteed  when  the  good  and  evil  conse- 
quences of  actions  are  rationally  understood,  than 
when  they  are  merely  believed  on  authority.  A 
child  who  finds  that  disorderliness  entails  the  sub- 
sequent trouble  of  putting  things  in  order,  or  who 
misses  a  gratification  from  dilatoriness,  or  whose 
want  of  care  is  followed  by  the  loss  or  breakage  of 
some  much-prized  possession,  not  onjy  experiences 
a  keenly -felt  consequence,  but  gains  a  knowledge 
of  causation  :  both  the  one  and  the  other  being 
just  like  those  which  adult  life  will  bring.  Where- 
as a  child  who  in  such  cases  receives  some  repri- 
mand or  some  factitious  penalty,  not  only  expe- 
riences a  consequence  for  which  it  often  cares  very 
little,  but  lacks  that  instruction  resjiecting  the  es- 
sential natures  of  good  and  evil  conduct,  which  it 
would  else  have  gathered.     It  is  a  vice  of  the  com- 


men  system  of  artificial  rewards  aud  punishments, 
long  since  noticed  by  the  clear-sighted,  that  by  sub- 
stituting for  the  natural  results  of  misbehaviour 
certain  threatened  tasks  or  castigations,  it  produce? 
a  radically  wrong  standard  of  moral  guidance. 
Having  throughout  uifancy  and  boyhood  alwa^'g 
regarded  parental  or  tutorial  displeasure  as  the  re- 
sult of  a  forbidden  action,  the  youth  has  gained  an 
established  association  of  ideas  between  such  action 
and  such  displeasure,  as  cause  and  effect ;  and  con- 
sequently when  parents  and  tutors  have  abdicated* 
and  their  displeasure  is  not  to  be  feared,  the  re- 
straint  on  a  forbidden  action  is  in  great  measure  re- 
moved :  the  true  restraints,  the  natural  reactions, 
liaving  yet  to  be  learnt  by  sad  experience.  A? 
writes  one  who  has  had  personal  knowledge  of  thie 
shortsighted  system  : — "  Young  men  let  loose  from 
school,  particularly  those  whose  parents  have  neg- 
lected to  exert  their  influence,  plunge  into  every 
description  of  extravagance ;  they  know  no  rule 
of  action — they  are  ignorant  of  the  reasons  for 
moral  conduct — they  have  no  foundation  to  rest 
upon — and  until  they  have  been  severely  disciplined 
by  the  world  are  extremely  dangerous  members  of 

Another  great  advantage  of  this  natural  system 
of  discipline  is,  that  it  is  a  system  of  pure  justice; 
and  will  be  recognised  by  every  child  as  such. 
Whoso  suffers  nothing  more  than  the  evil  which 
obviously  follows  naturally  from  his  own  misbe- 
haviour, is  much  less  likely  to  think  himself  wrongly 


h  eated  than  if  he  siiiFers  an  evil  artificially  inflicted 
on  him  ;  and  this  will  be  true  of  children  as  of 
men.  Take  the  case  of  a  boy  who  is  habitually  reck- 
less of  his  clothes — scrambles  through  hedges  with- 
out caution,  or  is  utterly  regardless  of  mud.  If  he 
is  beaten,  or  sent  to  bed,  he  is  apt  to  regard  him- 
self as  ill-used  ;  and  his  mind  is  more  likely  to  be 
occupied  by  thinking  over  his  injuries  than  repent- 
ing of  his  transgressions.  But  suppose  he  is  re- 
quired to  rectify  as  far  as  he  can  the  harm  he  has 
done — to  clean  off  the  mud  with  wliich  he  has  cov- 
ered himself,  or  to  mend  the  tear  as  well  as  he  can. 
Will  he  not  feel  that  the  evil  is  one  of  his  own  pro- 
ducing ?  "Will  he  not  while  paying  this  penalty  be 
continuously  conscious  of  the  connexion  between  it 
and  its  cause  ?  And  will  he  not,  spite  his  irrita- 
tion, recognise  more  or  less  clearly  tlie  justice  of  the 
arrangement  ?  If  several  lessons  of  this  kind  fail 
to  produce  amendment — if  suits  of  clothes  are  pre- 
maturely spoiled — if  pursuing  this  same  system  of 
discipline  a  father  declines  to  spend  money  for  new 
ones  until  the  ordinary  time  has  elapsed — and  if 
meanwhile,  there  occur  occasions  on  Avhich,  having 
no  decent  clothes  to  go  in,  the  boy  is  debarred  from 
joining  the  rest  of  the  family  on  holiday  excursions 
and  fete  days,  it  is  manifest  that  while  he  will 
keenly  feel  the  punishment,  lie  can  scarcely  fail  to 
trace  the  chain  of  causation,  and  to  perceive  that 
his  own  carelessness  is  the  origin  of  it ;  and  seeing 
this,  he  will  not  have  that  same  sense  of  injustice 


as  when  there  is  no  obvious  connexion  between  the 
transgression  and  its  penalty. 

Again,  the  tempers  botli  of  parents  and  children 
are  much  less  liable  to  be  ruffled  under  this  system 
than  under  the  ordinary  system.  Instead  of  letting 
children  experience  the  painful  results  which  natu- 
rally follow  from  wrong  conduct,  the  usual  course 
pursued  by  parents  is  to  inflict  themselves  certain 
other  painful  results.  A  double  mischief  arises 
from  this.  Making,  as  they  do,  multiplied  family 
laws  ;  and  identifying  their  own  supremacy  and  dig- 
nity with  the  maintenance  of  these  laws  ;  it  liap- 
pens  that  every  transgression  comes  to  be  regard- 
ed as  an  oflfence  against  themselves,  and  a  cause 
of  anger  on  their  part.  Add  to  which  the  further 
irritations  which  result  from  taking  upon  them- 
selves, in  the  shape  of  extra  labour  or  cost,  those 
evil  consequences  which  should  have  been  allowed 
to  fall  on  the  wrong-doers.  Similarly  with  the 
children.  Penalties  which  the  necessary  reaction  of 
things  brings  round  upon  them— -penalties  which 
are  inflicted  by  impersonal  agency,  produce  an  irri- 
tation that  is  comparatively  slight  and  transient ; 
whereas,  penalties  which  are  voluntarily  inflicted 
by  a  parent,  and  are  afterwards  remembered  as 
caused  by  him  or  her,  produce  an  irritation  both 
greater  and  more  continued.  Just  consider  how 
disastrous  would  be  the  result  if  this  empii-ical 
method  were  pursued  from  the  beginning.  Sup 
pose  it  were  possible  for  parents  to  take  upon  them- 
selves the  physical  sufferings  entailed  on  their  chil- 


dren  by  ignorance  and  awkwardness ;  and  that 
wliile  bearing  these  evil  consequences  thej  visited 
on  their  children  certain  other  evil  consequences, 
with  the  view  of  teaching  them  the  impropriety  of 
tlieir  conduct.  Suj^pose  that  when  a  child,  who 
had  been  forbidden  to  meddle  with  the  kettle,  spilt 
some  boiling  water  on  its  foot,  the  mother  vicari- 
ously assumed  the  scald  and  gave  a  blow  in  place 
of  it ;  and  similarly  in  all  other  cases.  Would  not 
the  daily  mishaps  be  sources  of  far  more  anger  than 
now  ?  Would  there  not  be  chronic  ill-temper  on 
both  sides  ?  Yet  an  exactly  parallel  policy  is  pur- 
sued in  after  years.  A  father  who  punishes  his  boy 
for  carelessly  or  wilfully  breaking  a  sister's  toy,  and 
then  himself  pays  for  a  new  toy,  does  substantially 
this  same  thing — inflicts  an  artiiicial  penalty  on  the 
transgressor,  and  takes  the  natural  penalty  on  him- 
self :  his  own  feelings  and  those  of  the  transgressor 
being  alike  needlessly  irritated.  If  he  simply  re- 
quired restitution  to  be  made,  he  would  produce  far 
less  heartburning.  If  he  told  the  boy  that  a  new 
toy  must  be  bought  at  his,  the  boy's,  cost,  and  that 
his  supply  of  pocket-money  must  be  withheld  to 
the  needful  extent,  there  would  be  much  less  cause 
for  ebullition  of  temper  on  either  side  ;  while  in  the 
deprivation  afterwards  felt,  the  boy  would  expe- 
rience the  equitable  and  salutary  consequence.  In 
brief,  the  system  of  discipline  by  natural  reactions 
is  less  injurious  to  temper,  alike  because  it  is  per- 
ceived on  both  sides  to  be  nothing  more  than  pure 
justice,  and  because  it  more  or  less  substitutes  the 


impersonal  agency  of  nature  for  tlie  personal  agency 
of  parents. 

Whence  also  follows  the  manifest  corollary,  that 
r.nder  this  system  the  parental  and  lilial  relation 
will  be  a  more  friendly,  and  therefore  a  more  in- 
fluential one.  "Whether  in  parent  or  child,  anger, 
however  caused,  and  to  whomsoever  directed,  is 
more  or  less  detrimental.  But  anger  in  a  parent 
towards  a  child,  and  in  a  child  towards  a  parent,  is 
especially  detrimental ;  because  it  weakens  that 
bond  of  sympathy  which  is  essential  to  a  benefi- 
cent control.  In  virtue  of  the  general  law  of  asso- 
ciation of  ideas,  it  inevitably  results,  both  in  young 
and  old,  that  dislike  is  contracted  towards  things 
which  in  our  experience  are  habitually  connected 
with  disagreeable  feelings.  Or  where  attachment 
originally  existed,  it  is  weakened,  or  destroyed,  or 
turned  into  repugnance,  according  to  the  quantity 
of  painful  impressions  received.  Parental  wi-ath, 
with  its  accompanying  reprimands  and  castigations, 
cannot  fail,  if  often  repeated,  to  produce  filial  alien- 
ation ;  while  the  resentment  and  sulkiness  of  chil- 
dren cannot  fail  to  weaken  the  afiection  felt  for 
them,  and  may  even  end  in  destroying  it.  Hence 
the  numerous  cases  in  which  parents  (and  especially 
fathers,  who  are  commonly  deputed  to  express  the 
anger  and  inflict  the  punishment)  are  regarded  with 
indifl'erence,  if  not  with  aversion  ;  and  hence  the 
equally  numerous  cases  in  which  children  are  looked 
upon  as  inflictions.  Seeing,  then,  as  all  must  do, 
Uiat  estrangement  of  this  kind  is  fatal  to  a  sulutary 


moral  culture,  it  follows  that  parents  cannot  be  too 
solicitous  in  avoiding  occasions  of  direct  antagon- 
ism with  their  children — occasions  of  personal  re- 
sentment. And  therefore  they  cannot  too  anxiously 
avail  themselves  of  this  discipline  of  natural  conse- 
quences— this  system  of  letting  the  penalty  be  iii- 
flicted  by  the  laws  of  things  ;  which,  by  saving  the 
parent  from  the  function  of  a  penal  agent,  prevents 
these  mutual  exasperations  and  estrangements. 

Thus  we  see  that  this  method  of  moral  culture 
by  experience  of  the  normal  reactions,  which  is  the 
divinely-ordained  method  alike  for  infancy  and  for 
adult  life,  is  equally  applicable  during  the  inter- 
mediate childliood  and  youth.  And  among  the  ad- 
vantages of  this  method  we  see — First.  Tliat  it 
gives  that  rational  comprehension  of  right  and 
wrong  conduct  which  results  from  actual  experience 
of  the  good  and  bad  consequences  caused  by  them. 
Second.  That  the  child,  suffering  nothing  more 
than  the  painful  effects  brought  upon  it  by  its  own 
wrong  actions,  must  recognise  more  or  less  clearly 
the  justice  of  the  penalties.  Third.  That,  recog- 
nising the  justice  of  the  penalties,  and  receiving 
those  penalties  through  the  working  of  things, 
rather  than  at  the  hands  of  an  individual,  its  temper 
will  be  less  disturbed  ;  while  the  parent  occupying 
the  comparatively  passive  position  of  taking  care 
that  the  natural  penalties  are  felt,  will  preserve  a 
comparative  equanimity.  And  Fourth.  That  mu- 
tual exasperation  being  thus  in  great  measure  pre- 
vented, a  much  happier,  and  a  more  influential 


state  of   feeling,   will   exist  between   parent  and 

"  But  what  is  to  be  done  with  more  serious  mis- 
conduct ? "  some  will  ask.  "  How  is  this  plan  to  be 
carried  out  when  a  petty  theft  has  been  committed  ? 
or  when  a  lie  has  been  told  ?  or  when  some  younger 
brother  or  sister  has  been  ill-used  ? " 

Before  replying  to  these  questions,  let  us  con- 
sider the  bearings  of  a  few  illustrative  facts. 

Living  in  the  family  of  his  brother-in-law,  a 
friend  of  ours  had  undertaken  the  education  of  his 
little  nephew  and  niece.  This  he  had  conducted, 
more  perhaps  from  natural  sympathy  than  from 
reasoned-out  conclusions,  in  the  spirit  of  the  method 
above  set  forth.  The  two  children  were  in  doors 
his  pupils  and  out  of  doors  his  companions.  They 
daily  joined  him  in  walks  and  botanizing  excur- 
sions, eagerly  sought  out  plants  for  him,  looked  on 
while  he  examined  and  identified  them,  and  in  this 
and  other  ways  were  ever  gaining  both  pleasure  and 
instruction  in  his  society.  In  short,  morally  con- 
sidered, he  stood  to  them  much  more  in  the  position 
of  parent  than  either  their  father  or  mother  did. 
Describing  to  us  the  results  of  this  policy,  he  gave, 
among  other  instances,  the  following.  One  even- 
ing, having  need  for  some  article  lying  in  another 
part  of  the  house,  he  asked  his  nephew  to  fetch  it 
for  him.  Deeply  interested  as  the  boy  was  in  some 
amusement  of  the  moment,  he,  contrary  to  his 
wont,  either  exhibited  great  reluctance  or  refused, 


we  forget  which.  His  uncle,  disapproving  of  a 
coercive  course  fetched  it  himself ;  merely  exhibit- 
ing by  his  manner  the  annoyance  this  ill-behaviour 
gave  him.  And  when,  later  in  the  evening,  the 
boy  made  overtures  for  the  usual  play,  they  were 
gravely  repelled — the  uncle  manifested  just  that 
coldness  of  feeling  naturally  produced  in  hijn,  and 
so  let  the  boy  experience  the  necessary  consequences 
of  his  conduct.  Next  morning  at  the  usual  time 
for  rising,  our  friend  heard  a  new  voice  outside  the 
door,  and  in  walked  his  little  nephew  with  the  hot 
water ;  and  then  the  boy,  peering  about  the  room 
to  see  what  else  could  be  done,  exclaimed,  "  Oh  ! 
you  want  your  boots,"  and  forthwith  rushed  down 
stairs  to  fetch  them.  In  this  and  other  ways  he 
showed  a  true  penitence  for  his  misconduct ;  he  en- 
deavoured by  unusual  services  to  make  up  for  the 
service  he  had  refused  ;  his  higher  feelings  had  of 
themselves  conquered  his  lower  ones,  and  acquired 
strength  by  the  conquest ;  and  he  valued  more  than 
before  the  friendship  he  thus  regained. 

This  gentleman  is  now  himself  a  father  ;  acts  on 
the  same  system ;  and  finds  it  answer  completely. 
He  makes  himself  thoroughly  his  children's  friend. 
The  evening  is  longed  for  by  them  because  he  will 
be  at  home  ;  and  they  especially  enjoy  the  Sunday 
because  he  is  with  them  all  day.  Thus  possessing 
their  perfect  confidence  and  afiection,  he  finds  that 
the  simple  display  of  his  approbation  or  disapproba- 
tion gives  him  abundant  power  of  control.  If,  on 
his  return  home,  he  hears  that  one  of  his  boys  has 

19 J:  MORAL   EDUCA'nON. 

been  naughty,  lie  behaves  towards  liira  with  that 
comparative  coldness  which  the  consciousness  of  the 
boy's  misconduct  naturally  produces  ;  and  he  finds 
this  a  most  efficient  punishment.  The  mere  with- 
holding of  the  usual  caresses,  is  a  source  of  the 
keenest  distress — produces  a  much  more  prolonged 
fit  of  crying  than  a  beating  would  do.  And  the 
dread  of  this  purely  moral  penalty  is,  he  says,  ever 
present  during  his  absence  :  so  much  so,  that  fre- 
quently during  the  day  his  children  inquire  of  their 
mamma  how  they  have  behaved,  and  whether  the 
report  will  be  good.  Recently,  the  eldest,  an  ac- 
tive urchin  of  five,  in  one  of  those  bursts  of  animal 
spirits  common  in  healthy  children,  committed  sun- 
dry extravagances  during  his  mamma  s  absence — 
cut  off"  part  of  his  brother's  hair  and  wounded  him- 
self with  a  razor  taken  from  his  father's  dressing- 
case.  Hearing  of  these  occurrences  on  his  return, 
the  father  did  not  speak  to  the  boy  either  that 
night  or  next  morning.  Not  only  was  the  tribula- 
tion great,  but  the  subsequent  eff'ect  was,  that  when, 
a  few  days  after,  the  mamma  was  about  to  go  out, 
she  was  earnestly  entreated  by  the  boy  not  to  do 
60 ;  and  on  inquiry,  it  appeared  his  fear  was  that 
he  might  again  transgress  in  her  absence. 

We  have  introduced  these  facts  before  replying 
to  the  question — "  What  is  to  be  done  with  the 
graver  offences  ?  "for  the  purpose  of  first  exhibiting 
the  relation  that  may  and  ought  to  be  established 
between  parents  and  children  ;  for  on  the  existence 
of  this  relation  depends  the  successful  treatment  of 


these  graver  offences.  And  as  a  further  prelimi* 
nary,  we  must  now  point  out  that  the  establisliment 
of  this  relation  will  result  from  adopting  the  sys- 
tem we  advocate.  Already  we  have  shown  that 
by  letting  a  child  experience  simply  the  painful 
reactions  of  its  own  wrong  actions,  a  parent  in  great 
measure  avoids  assuming  the  attitude  of  an  enemy, 
and  escapes  being  regarded  as  one ;  but  it  still  re- 
mains to  be  shown  that  where  this  course  has  been 
consistently  pursued  from  the  beginning,  a  strong 
feeling  of  active  friendship  will  be  generated. 

At  present,  mothers  and  fathers  are  mostly  con- 
sidered by  their  offspring  as  friend -enemies.  De- 
termined as  their  impressions  inevitably  are  by  the 
treatment  they  receive ;  and  oscillating  as  that 
treatment  does  between  bribery  and  thwarting,  be- 
tween petting  and  scolding,  between  gentleness  and 
castigation  ;  children  necessarily  acquire  contlicting 
beliefs  respecting  the  parental  character.  A  mother 
commonly  thinks  it  quite  sufficient  to  tell  her  little 
boy  that  she  is  his  best  friend ;  and  assuming  that 
he  is  in  duty  bound  to  believe  her,  concludes  that 
he  will  forthwith  do  so.  "  It  is  all  for  your  good  ; " 
"  I  know  what  is  proper  for  you  better  than  you  do 
yourself ;  "  "  You  are  not  old  enough  to  understand 
it  now,  but  when  you  grow  up  you  will  thank, 
rae  for  doing  what  I  do  ;  " — these,  and  like  asser- 
tions, are  daily  reiterated.  Meanwhile  the  boy  is 
daily  suffering  positive  penalties ;  and  is  hourly 
forbidden  to  do  this,  that,  and  the  other,  which  he 
was  anxious  to  do.     By  words  he  hears  that  his 


happiness  is  the  end  in  view  ;  but  from  tlie  accom^ 
panying  deeds  lie  habitually  receives  more  or  less 
pain.  Utterly  incompetent  as  he  is  to  understand 
that  future  which  his  mother  has  in  view,  or  how 
this  treatment  conduces  to  the  happiness  of  that  fu- 
ture, he  judges  by  such  results  as  he  feels ;  and 
finding  these  results  any  thing  but  pleasurable,  he 
becomes  sceptical  respecting  these  professions  of 
friendship.  And  is  it  not  folly  to  expect  any  other 
issue  ?  Must  not  the  child  judge  by  such  evidence 
as  lie  has  got  ?  and  does  not  this  evidence  seem  to 
warrant  his  conclusion  ?  The  mother  would  reason 
in  just  the  same  way  if  similarly  placed.  If,  in  the 
circle  of  her  acquaintance,  she  found  some  one  who 
was  constantly  thwarting  her  wishes,  uttering  sharp 
reprimands,  and  occasionally  inflicting  actual  pen- 
alties on  her,  she  would  pay  but  little  attention  to 
any  professions  of  anxiety  for  her  welfare  which 
accompanied  these  acts.  Why,  then,  does  she  sup- 
pose that  her  boy  will  conclude  otherwise  ? 

But  now  observe  how  diiferent  will  be  the  re- 
sults if  the  system  we  contend  for  be  consistently 
pursued — if  the  mother  not  only  avoids  becoming 
the  instrument  of  punishment,  but  plays  tlie  part 
of  a  friend,  by  warning  her  boy  of  the  punishments 
which  Is'ature  will  inflict.  Take  a  case ;  and  that 
it  may  illustrate  the  mode  in  which  this  policy  is 
to  be  early  initiated,  let  it  be  one  of  the  simplest 
cases.  Suppose  that,  prompted  b}^  the  experi- 
mental spirit  so  conspicuous  in  children,  whose 
proceedings  instinctively  conform  to  the  inductive 


method  of  inquiry — suppose  that  so  prompted  the 
child  is  amusing  himself  by  lighting  pieces  of  pa- 
per in  the  candle  and  watching  them  burn.  If  his 
mother  is  of  the  ordinary  uureflective  stamp,  she 
will  either,  on  the  plea  of  keeping  the  child  "  out 
of  mischief,"  or  from  fear  that  he  will  burn  himself, 
command  him  to  desist ;  and  in  case  of  non-com- 
pliance will  snatch  the  paper  from  him.  On  the 
other  hand,  should  he  be  so  fortunate  as  to  have  a 
mother  of  sufficient  rationality,  who  knows  that 
this  interest  with  which  the  child  is  watching  the 
paper  burn  results  fi-om  a  healthy  inquisitiv^eness, 
without  which  he  woiild  never  have  emerged  out 
of  infantine  stupidity,  and  who  is  also  wise  enough 
to  consider  the  moral  results  of  interference,  she 
will  reason  thus  : — "  If  I  put  a  stop  to  this  I  shall 
prevent  the  acquirement  of  a  certain  amount  of 
knowledge.  It  is  true  that  I  may  save  the  child 
from  a  burn  ;  but  what  then?  He  is  sure  to  burn 
himself  sometime ;  and  it  is  quite  essential  to  his 
safety  in  life  that  he  should  learn  by  experience  the 
properties  of  flame.  Moreover,  if  I  forbid  him 
from  running  this  present  risk,  he  is  sure  hereafter 
to  run  the  same  or  a  greater  risk  when  no  one  is 
present  to  prevent  hira  ;  whereas,  if  he  should  have 
any  accident  now  that  I  am  by,  I  can  save  him 
from  any  great  injury;  add  to  which  the  advan- 
tage that  he  will  have  in  future  some  dread  of  fire, 
and  will  be  less  likely  to  burn  himself  to  death,  or 
set  the  house  in  a  flame  when  others  are  absent. 
Furthermore,  were  I  to  make  him  desist,  I  should 


thwart  him  in  the  pursuit  of  what  is  in  itself  a 
purely  harmless,  and  indeed,  instructive  gratifica- 
tion ;  and  he  would  be  sure  to  regard  me  with 
more  or  less  ill-feelh)g.  Ignorant  as  lie  is  of  the 
pain  from  which  I  would  save  him,  and  feeling 
only  the  pain  of  a  balked  desire,  he  could  not  fail 
to  look  upon  me  as  the  cause  of  that  pain.  To  save 
liim  from  a  hurt  which  he  cannot  conceive,  and 
which  has  therefore  no  existence  for  him,  I  inflict 
upon  him  a  hurt  wdiich  he  feels  keenly  enough  ; 
and  so  become,  from  his  point  of  view,  a  minister 
of  evil.  My  best  course  then,  is  simply  to  warn 
him  of  the  danger,  and  to  be  ready  to  prevent  any 
serious  damage."  And  following  out  this  conclu- 
sion, she  says  to  the  child — "  I  fear  you  -will  hurt 
yourself  if  you  do  that."  Suppose,  now,  that  the 
child  perseveres,  as  he  will  very  probably  do  ;  and 
suppose  that  he  ends  by  burning  himself.  What 
are  the  results  ?  In  the  first  place  he  has  gained 
an  experience  which  he  must  gain  eventually,  and 
which,  for  his  own  safety  he  cannot  gain  too  soon. 
And  in  the  second  place,  he  has  found  that  his 
mother's  disapproval  or  warning  was  meant  for  his 
welfare  :  he  has  a  further  positive  experience  of  her 
benevolence — a  further  reason  for  placing  confi- 
dence in  her  judgment  and  her  kindness — a  further 
reason  for  loving  her. 

Of  course,  in  those  occasional  hazards  where 
there  is  a  risk  of  broken  limbs  or  other  serious 
bodily  injury,  forcible  prevention  is  called  for. 
But  leaving  out  these  exireme  cases,  the  system 

CniLDKEN    MUST   LEARN   BY    EXPERIENCE.        199 

pursaed  should  be  not  that  of  guarding  a  child 
ngainst  the  small  dangers  into  which  it  daily  runs, 
but  tliat  of  advising  and  warning  it  against  them. 
And  by  consistently  pursuing  this  course,  a  much 
stronger  filial  affection  will  be  generated  than  com- 
monly exists.  If  here,  as  elsewhere,  the  discipline 
of  the  natural  reactions. is  allowed  to  come  into 
play — if  in  all  those  out-of-door  scramblings  and 
in-door  experiments,  by  which  children  are  liable 
to  hurt  themselves,  they  are  allowed  to  persevere, 
subject  only  to  dissuasion  more  or  less  earnest  ac- 
cording to  the  risk,  there  cannot  fail  to  arise  an 
ever-increasing  faith  in  the  parental  friendship  and 
guidance.  Not  only,  as  before  shown,  does  the 
adoption  of  this  principle  enable  fathers  and  moth- 
ers to  avoid  the  chief  part  of  that  odium  which  at- 
taches to  the  infliction  of  positive  punishment;  but, 
as  we  here  see,  it  enables  them  further  to  avoid  the 
odium  that  attaches  to  constant  thwartings ;  and 
even  to  turn  each  of  those  incidents  which  com- 
monly cause  squabbles,  into  a  means  of  strength- 
ening the  mutual  -good  feeling.  Instead  of  being 
told  in  words,  which  deeds  seem  to  contradict,  that 
their  parents  are  theii  best  friends,  children  will 
learn  this  truth  by  a  consistent  dail};  experience ; 
and  so  learning  it,  will  acquire  a  degree  of  trust 
and  attachment  which  nothing  else  can  give. 

And  now  having  indicated  the  much  more  sym- 
pathetic relation  which  must  result  from  the  habit- 
ual use  of  this  method,  let  us  return  to  the  quea- 


tion  above  put — IIow  is  this  method  to  be  applied 
to  the  graver  otfences  ? 

Xote,  in  the  first  ph\ce,  tliat  these  graver  of- 
fences are  likely  to  be  both  less  frequent  and  less 
grave  under  the  regimewQ  have  described  than  un- 
der the  ordinary  regime.  The  perpetual  ill-behav- 
iour of  many  children  is  itself  the  consequence  of 
that  chronic  irritation  in  which  they  are  kept  by 
bad  management.  The  state  of  isolation  and  an- 
tagonism produced  by  frequent  punishment,  neces- 
sarily deadens  the  sympathies ;  necessarily,  there- 
fore, opens  the  way  to  those  transgressions  which 
the  sympathies  should  check.  That  harsh  treat- 
ment which  children  of  the  same  family  inflict  on 
each  other  is  often,  in  great  measure,  a  reflex  of  the 
harsh  treatment  they  receive  from  adults — partly 
suggested  by  direct  example,  and  parth'  generated 
by  the  ill-temper  and  the  tendency  to  vicarious  re- 
taliation, which  follow  chastisements  and  scoldinocs. 
It  cannot  be  questioned  that  the  greater  activity  oi 
the  affections  and  happier  state  of  feeling,  main- 
tained in  children  by  the  discipline  we  have  de- 
scribed, must  prevent  their  sins  against  each  other 
from  being  either  so  great  or  so  frequent.  More- 
over, the  sti^l  more  reprehensible  oflfences,  as  lies 
and  petty  thefts,  will,  by  the  same  causes,  be  di- 
minished. Domestic  estrangement  is  a  fruitful 
source  of  such  transgressions.  It  is  a  law  of  human 
nature,  visible  enough  to  all  who  observe,  that 
those  who  are  debarred  the  higher  gratiflcations 
fall  back  upon  the  lower ;  those  who  have  no  sym- 


pathetic  pleasures  seek  selfish  ones ;  and  hence, 
conversely,  the  maintenance  of  happier  relations 
between  parents  and  children  is  calculated  to  di- 
minish the  number  of  those  offences  of  which  self- 
ishness is  the  origin. 

AVhen,  however,  such  offences  are  committed, 
as  they  will  occasionally  be  even  under  the  best 
system,  the  discipline  of  consequences  may  still  be 
resorted  to  ;  and  if  there  exist  that  bond  of  confi- 
dence and  affection  which  we  have  described,  this 
discipline  will  be  found  efficient.  For  what  are 
the  natural  consequences,  say,  of  a  theft?  They 
are  of  two  kinds — direct  and  indirect.  The  direct 
consequence,  as  dictated  by  pure  equity,  is  that  of 
making  restitution.  An  absolutely  just  ruler  (and 
every  parent  should  aim  to  be  one)  will  demand 
that,  wherever  it  is  possible,  a  wu'ong  act  shall  be 
undone  by  a  right  one :  and  in  the  case  of  theft 
this  implies  either  the  restoration  of  the  thing 
stolen,  or,  if  it  is  consumed,  then  the  giving  of  an 
equivalent :  which,  in  the  case  of  a  child,  may  be 
effected  out  of  its  pocket-money.  The  indirect  and 
more  serious  consequence  is  the  grave  displeasure 
of  parents — a  consequence  which  inevitably  follows 
among  all  peoples  sufficiently  civilized  to  regard 
theft  as  a  crime ;  and  the  manifestation  of  this  dis- 
pleasure is,  in  this  instance,  the  most  severe  of  the 
natural  reactions  produced  by  the  wrong  action. 
"  But,"  it  will  be  said,  "  the  m.anifestation  of  parental 
displeasure,  either  in  words  or  blows,  is  the  ordi- 
nary course  in  these  cases :  the  method  leads  here 


to  nothing  new."  Yeiy  true.  Already  we  have 
admitted  that,  in  some  directions,  this  method  is 
spontaneously  jDursued.  Already  we  have  shown 
that  there  is  a  more  or  less  manifest  tendency  for 
educational  systems  to  gravitate  towards  the  true 
system.  And  here  we  may  remark,  as  before,  that 
the  intensity  of  this  natural  reaction  will,  in  the 
beneficent  order  of  things,  adjust  itself  to  the  re- 
quirements— that  this  parental  displeasure  will 
vent  itself  in  violent  measures  during  compara- 
tively barbarous  times,  when  the  children  are  also 
comparatively  barbarous;  and  will  express  itself 
less  cruelly  in  those  more  advanced  social  states  in 
which,  by  implication,  the  children  are  amenable 
to  milder  treatment.  But  what  it  chiefly  concerns 
us  here  to  observe  is,  that  the  manifestation  of 
strong  parental  displeasure,  produced  by  one  of 
these  graver  oflPences,  will  be  potent  for  good  just 
in  proportion  to  the  warmth  of  the  attachment  ex- 
isting between  parent  and  child.  Just  in  propor- 
tion as  the  discipline  of  the  natural  consequences 
has  been  consistently  pursued  in  other  cases,  will 
it  be  eificient  in  this  case.  Proof  is  within  the  ex- 
perience of  all,  if  they  will  look  for  it. 

For  does  not  every  man  know  that  when  he  has 
offended  another  person,  the  amount  of  genuine  re- 
gret he  feels  (of  course,  leaving  worldly  considera- 
tions out  of  the  question)  varies  with  the  degree  of 
sympathy  he  has  for  that  person  ?  Is  he  not  con- 
Bcious  that  when  the  person  offended  stands  to  him 
in  the  position  of  an  enemy,  the  having  given  him 



annoyance  is  apt  to  be  a  source  ratlier  of  secret 
satisfaction  than  of  sorrow  ?  Does  he  not  remem- 
ber that  where  nrabrage  has  been  taken  by  some 
total  stranger,  he  has  felt  much  less  concern  than 
he  would  have  done  had  such  umbrage  been  taken 
by  one  with  whom  he  was  intimate  ?  While,  con- 
versely, has  not  the  anger  of  an  admired  and  cher- 
ished friend  been  regarded  by  him  as  a  serious 
misfortune,  long  and  keenly  regretted?  Clearly, 
then,  the  effects  of  parental  displeasure  upon  chil- 
dren must  similarly  depend  upon  the  pre-existing 
relationship.  Where  there  is  an  established  alien- 
ation, the  feeling  of  a  child  who  has  transgressed 
is  a  purely  selfish  fear  of  the  evil  consequences 
likely  to  fall  upon  it  in  the  shape  of  physical  pen- 
alties or  deprivations ;  and  after  these  evil  conse* 
quences  have  been  inflicted,  there  are  aroused  an 
antagonism  and  dislike  which  are  morally  inju- 
rious, and  tend  further  to  increase  the  alienation. 
On  the  contrary,  where  there  exists  a  warm  filial  af- 
fection produced  by  a  consistent  parental  friendship 
— a  friendship  not  dogmatically  asserted  as  an  excuse 
for  punishments  and  denials,  but  daily  exhibited  in 
ways  that  a  child  can  comprehend — a  friendship 
which  avoids  needless  thwartings,  which  warns 
against  impending  evil  consequences,  and  which 
sympathizes  with  juvenile  pursuits — there  the  state 
of  mind  caused  by  parental  displeasure  will  not 
only  be  salutary  as  a  check  to  future  misconduct 
of  like  kind,  but  will  also  be  intrinsically  salutar}'. 
The  moral  pain   consequent  upon  having,  for  the 


time  "being,  lost  so  loved  a  friend,  will  stand  in 
place  of  the  physical  pain  usually  inflicted  ;  and 
■•,vhere  this  attachment  exists,  will  prove  equally,  if 
not  more,  eflficient.  While  instead  of  the  fear  and 
vindictiveness  excited  by  the  one  course,  there  will 
be  excited  by  the  other  more  or  less  of  sym]:»athy 
with  parental  sorrow,  a  genuine  regret  for  having 
caused  it,  and  a  desire,  by  some  atonement,  to  re- 
establish the  habitual  friendly  relationship.  In- 
stead of  bringing  into  play  those  purely  egoistic 
feelings  whose  predominance  is  the  cause  of  crimi- 
nal acts,  there  will  be  brought  into  play  those  altru- 
istic feelings  which  check  criminal  acts.  Thus  the 
discipline  of  the  natural  consequences  is  applicable 
to  grave  as  well  as  trivial  faults  ;  and  the  practice 
of  it  conduces  not  simply  to  the  repression,  but  to 
the  eradication  of  such  faults. 

In  brief,  the  truth  is  that  savageness  begets 
savageness,  and  gentleness  begets  gentleness.  Chil- 
dren who  are  unsympathetically  treated  become 
relatively  unsympathetic;  whereas  treating  them 
with  due  fellow-feeling  is  a  means  of  cultivating 
their  fellow-feeling.  "With  family  governments  as 
with  political  ones,  a  harsh  despotism  itself  gene- 
rates a  great  part  of  the  crimes  it  has  to  repress  ; 
while  conversely  a  mild  and  liberal  rule  not  only 
avoids  many  causes  of  dissension,  but  so  amelio- 
rates the  tone  of  feeling  as  to  diminish  the  ten- 
dency to  transgression.  As  John  Locke  long  since 
remarked,  "  Great  severity  of  punishment  does  but 
very  little   good,  nay,  great  harm,  in   education  \ 


and  I  believe  it  will  be  found  that,  cwteris  paribus^ 
those  children  who  have  been  most  chastised  sel- 
dom make  the  best  men."  In  confirmation  of  whicli 
opinion  we  may  cite  the  fact  not  long  since  made 
public  by  Mr,  Kogers,  Chaplain  of  the  Pentonville 
Prison,  that  those  juvenile  criminals  who  have 
been  whipped  are  those  who  most  frequently  return 
to  prison.  On  the  other  hand,  as  exhibiting  the 
beneficial  efi'ects  of  a  kinder  treatment,  Ave  will  in- 
stance the  fact  stated  to  us  by  a  French  lady,  in 
whose  house  we  recently  staid  in  Paris.  Apologiz- 
ing for  the  disturbance  daily  caused  by  a  little  boy 
who  was  unmanageable  both  at  home  and  at  school, 
she  expressed  her  fear  that  there  was  no  remedy 
save  that  which  had  succeeded  in  the  case  of  an 
elder  brother  ;  namely,  sending  him  to  an  English 
school.  She  explained  that  at  various  schools  in 
Paris  this  elder  brother  had  proved  utterly  untract- 
able  ;  that  in  despair  they  had  followed  the  advice 
to  send  him  to  England  ;  and  that  on  his  return 
home  he  was  as  good  as  he  had  before  been  bad. 
And  this  remarkable  change  she  ascribed  entirely 
to  the  comparative  mildness  of  the  English  disci- 

After  this  exposition  of  principles,  our  remaining 
space  may  best  be  occupied  by  a  few  of  the  chief 
maxims  and  rules  deducible  from  them;  and  with 
a  view  to  brevity  we  will  put  these  in  a  more  or 
less  hortatory  form. 

Do  not  expect  from  a  child  any  great  amount  of 
moral  goodness.     During  early  years  every  civil- 


ized  man  passes  through  that  phase  of  character 
exhibited  by  the  barbarous  race  t'roin  uhich  he  is 
descended.  As  the  child's  features — flat  nose,  for- 
ward-opening nostrils,  large  lips,  wide-apart  eyes, 
absent  frontal  sinus,  &c. — resemble  for  a  time  those 
of  the  savage,  so,  too,  do  his  instincts.  Hence  the 
tendencies  to  cruelty,  to  thieving,  to  lying,  so  gen- 
eral among  children — tendencies  which,  even  with- 
out the  aid  of  discipline,  will  become  more  or  less 
modified  just  as  the  features  do.  The  popular  idea 
that  children  are  "  innocent,"  while  it  may  be  true 
in  so  far  as  it  refers  to  evil  hioivledge,  is  totally 
false  in  so  far  as  it  refers  to  evil  impulses,  as  half 
an  hour's  observation  in  the  nursery  will  prove  to 
any  one.  Boys  when  left  to  themselves,  as  at  a 
public  school,  treat  each  other  far  more  brutally 
than  men  do  ;  and  were  they  left  to  themselves  at 
an  earlier  age  their  brutality  would  be  still  more 

Not  only  is  it  unwise  to  set  up  a  high  standard 
for  juvenile  good  conduct,  but  it  is  even  unwise  to 
use  very  urgent  incitements  to  such  good  conduct. 
Already  most  people  recognise  the  detrimental  re- 
sults of  intellectual  precocity  ;  but  there  remains 
to  be  recognised  the  truth  that  there  is  a  moral 
precocity  which  is  also  detrimental.  Our  higher 
moral  faculties,  like  our  higher  intellectual  ones, 
are  comparatively  complex.  By  consequence  they 
arc  both  comparatively  late  in  their  evolution. 
And  with  the  one  as  with  the  other,  a  very  early 
activity  produced  by  stimulation  will  be  at  the  ex- 


pense  of  the  fatnre  cliaracter.  Hence  the  not  nn- 
common  fact  that  those  who  during  chiklhood  were 
instanced  as  models  of  juvenile  goodness,  by-and-by 
undergo  some  disastrous  and  seemingly  inexplica- 
ble change,  and  end  by  being  not  above  but  below 
par  ;  while  relatively  exemplary  men  are  often  the 
issue  of  a  childhood  by  no  means  so  promising. 

Be  content,  therefore,  with  moderate  measures 
and  moderate  results.  Constantly  bear  in  mind 
the  fact  that  a  higher  morality,  like  a  higher  intelli- 
gence, must  be  reached  by  a  slow  growth  ;  and 
you  will  then  have  more  patience  with  those  imper- 
fections of  nature  which  your  child  hourly  displays. 
You  will  be  less  prone  to  that  constant  scolding, 
and  threatening,  and  forbidding,  by  which  many 
parents  induce  a  chronic  domestic  irritation,  in  the 
foolish  hope  that  they  will  thus  make  their  chil- 
dren what  they  should  be. 

This  comparatively  liberal  form  of  domestic 
government,  which  does  not  seek  despotically  to 
regulate  all  the  details  of  a  child's  conduct,  neces- 
sarily results  from  the  system  for  which  we  have 
been  contending.  Satisfy  yourself  with  seeing  that 
your  child  always  suffers  the  natural  consequences 
of  his  actions,  and  you  will  avoid  that  excess  of 
control  in  which  so  many  parents  err.  Leave  him 
wherever  you  can  to  the  discipline  of  experience, 
and  you  will  so  save  him  from  that  hothouse  virtue 
which  over-regulation  produces  in  yielding  natures, 
or  that  demoralizing  antagonism  which  it  produces 
in  independent  ones, 


By  aiming  in  all  cases  to  administer  tlie  natuial 
reactions  to  your  child's  actions,  you  will  put  an 
advantageous  check  upon  your  own  temper.  The 
method  of  moral  education  pursued  by  many,  we 
fear  by  most,  parents,  is  little  else  than  that  of 
venting  their  anger  in  the  way  that  first  suggests 
itself.  The  slaps,  and  rough  shakings,  and  sharp 
words,  with  which  a  mother  commonly  visits  her 
oflspring's  small  offences  (many  of  them  not  of- 
fences considered  intrinsically),  are  ver}^  generally 
but  the  manifestations  of  her  own  ili-controlled 
feelings — result  much  more  from  the  promptings  of 
those  feelings  than  from  a  wish  to  benefit  the 
oftenders.  While  they  are  injurious  to  her  own 
character,  these  ebullitions  tend,  b}'  alienating  her 
children  and  by  decreasing  their  respect  for  her,  to 
diminish  her  influence  over  them.  But  by  pausing 
in  each  case  of  transgression  to  consider  what  is 
the  natural  consequence,  and  how  that  natural  con- 
sequence may  best  be  brought  home  to  the  trans- 
gressor, some  little  time  is  necessarily'-  obtained  for 
the  mastery  of  yourself;  the  mere  blind  anger  first 
aroused  in  you  settles  down  into  a  less  vehement 
feeling,  and  one  not  so  likely  to  mislead  you. 

Do  not,  however,  seek  to  behave  as  an  utterly 
passionless  instrument.  Remember  that  besides 
the  natural  consequences  of  your  child's  conduct 
which  the  woi'king  of  things  tends  to  bring  round 
on  him,  your  own  approbation  or  disapprobation  is 
also  a  natural  consequence,  and  one  of  the  ordained 
agencies   for  guidino:  him.     The  error  which  w© 


have  been  combating  is  that  of  siLbstituting  parental 
displeasure  and  its  «,rtiliciul  penalties,  for  the  pen- 
alties which  nature  has  established.  But  while  it 
should  not  be  substituted  for  these  natural  penalties, 
it  by  no  means  follows  that  it  should  not,  in  some 
form,  accompany  them.  The  secondary  kind  of 
punishment  should  not  usurp  the  place  of  the 
primary  kind  ;  but,  in  moderation,  it  may  rightly 
supplement  the  primary  kind.  Such  amount  of  dis- 
approval, or  sorrow,  or  indignation,  as  you  feel, 
should  be  expressed  in  words  or  manner  or  other- 
wise ;  subject,  of  course,  to  the  approval  of  your 
judgment.  The  degree  and  kind  of  feeling  jjro- 
duced  in  you  will  necessarily  depend  upon  your 
own  character,  and  it  is  therefore  useless  to  say  it 
should  be  this  or  that.  All  that  can  be  recom- 
mended is,  that  you  should  aim  to  modify  the  feel- 
ing into  that  which  vou  believe  ought  to  be  enter- 
tained.  Beware,  however,  of  the  two  extremes; 
not  only  in  respect  of  the  intensity,  but  in  respect 
of  the  duration  of  your  displeasure.  On  the  one 
hand,  anxiously  avoid  that  weak  impulsiveness,  so 
general  among  mothers,  which  scolds  and  forgives 
almost  in  the  same  breath.  On  the  other  hand,  do 
not  unduly  continue  to  show  estrangement  of  feel- 
ing, lest  you  accustom  your  child  to  do  without 
your  friendship,  and  so  lose  your  influence  over 
him.  The  moral  reactions  called  forth  from  you  by 
your  child's  actions,  you  should  as  much  as  possi- 
ble assimilate  to  those  which  you  conceive  would 
be  called  forth  from  a  parent  of  perfect  nature. 


Be  sparing  of  commands.  Command  only  in 
tliose  cases  in  wliicli  other  means  are  inai^itlicable, 
or  have  failed.  "  In  frequent  orders  the  parents' 
advantage  is  more  considered  than  the  child's," 
says  Richter.  As  in  primitive  societies  a  breach 
of  law  is  punished,  not  so  much  because  it  is  in- 
trinsically wrong  as  because  it  is  a  disregard  of  the 
king's  authority — a  rebellion  against  him ;  so  in 
many  families,  the  penalty  visited  on  a  transgressor 
proceeds  less  from  reprobation  of  the  offence  than 
from  anger  at  the  disobedience.  Listen  to  the  ordi- 
nary speeches — "  How  dare  you  disobey  me?  "  " I 
tell  you  I'll  make  you  do  it,  sir."  "  I'll  soon  teach 
you  who  is  master  " — and  then  consider  what  the 
words,  the  tone,  and  the  manner  imply.  A  deter- 
mination to  subjugate  is  much  more  conspicuous  in 
them  than  an  anxiety  for  the  cliild's  welfare.  For 
the  time  being  the  attitude  of  mind  differs  but  little 
from  that  of  the  despot  bent  on  punishing  a  recalci- 
trant subject.  The  right-feeling  parent,  however, 
like  the  philanthropic  legislator,  will  not  rejoice  in 
coercion,  but  will  rejoice  in  dispensing  with  coercion, 
lie  will  do  without  law  in  all  cases  where  other 
modes  of  regulating  conduct  can  be  successfully  em- 
])loyed  ;  and  he  will  regret  the  having  recourse  to 
law  when  it  is  necessary.  As  Richter  remarks — 
"The  best  rule  in  politics  is  said  to  be  '';pas  trop 
ijouverner : ''  it  is  also  true  in  education."  And  in 
spontaneous  conformity  with  this  maxim,  parents 
whose  lust  of  dominion  is  restrained  by  a  true  sense 
of  duty,  will  aim  to  make   their  children  control 


themselves  wherever  it  is  possible,  and  will  fall  back 
upon  absolutism  only  as  a  last  resort. 

But  whenever  you  do  command,  command  with 
decision  and  consistency.  If  the  case  is  one  which 
really  cannot  be  otherwise  dealt  with,  then  issue 
your  fiat,  and  having  issued  it,  never  afterwards 
swerve  from  it.  Consider  well  beforehand  what 
you  are  going  to  do  ;  weigh  all  the  consequences  ; 
think  whether  your  firmness  of  purpose  will  be 
sufficient ;  and  then,  if  you  finally  make  the  law, 
enforce  it  uniformly  at  whatever  cost.  Let  your 
penalties  be  like  the  penalties  inflicted  by  inani- 
mate nature — inevitable.  The  hot  cinder  burns  a 
child  the  first  time  he  seizes  it ;  it  burns  him  the 
second  time ;  it  burns  him  the  third  time  ;  it  burns 
him  every  time ;  and  he  very  soon  learns  not  to 
touch  the  hot  cinder.  If  you  are  equally  consist- 
ent— if  the  consequences  which  you  tell  your  child 
will  follow  certain  acts,  follow  with  like  uniformity, 
he  .will  soon  come  to  respect  your  laws  as  he  does 
those  of  Nature.  And  this  respect  once  established 
will  prevent  endless  domestic  evils.  Of  errors  in 
education  one  of  the  worst  is  that  of  inconsistency. 
As  in  a  community,  crimes  multiply  when  there  is 
no  certain  administration  of  justice  ;  so  in  a  fami- 
ly, an  immense  increase  of  transgressions  results 
from  a  hesitating  or  irregular  infliction  of  penal- 
ties. A  weak  mother,  who  perpetually  threatens 
and  rarely  performs — who  makes  rules  in  haste  and 
repents  of  them  at  leisure — who  treats  the  same 
oifence  now  with  severity  and  now  with  leniency, 


according  as  the  passing  humour  dictates,  is  laying 
lip  miseries  both  for  herself  and  her  children.  She 
is  making  herself  contemptible-  in  their  eyes  ;  she 
is  setting  them  an  example  of  uncontrolled  feel- 
ings ;  she  is  encouraging  tiiem  to  transgress  by  the 
prospect  of  probable  impunity ;  she  is  entailing 
endless  squabbles  and  accompanying  damage  to 
her  own  temper  and  the  tempers  of  her  little  ones ; 
she  is  reducing  their  minds  to  a  moral  chaos,  which 
after-years  of  bitter  experience  will  with  difficulty 
bring  into  order.  Better  even  a  barbarous  form  of 
domestic  government  carried  out  consistently,  than 
a  humane  one  inconsistently  carried  out.  Again 
we  say,  avoid  coercive  measures  wdienever  it  is 
possible  to  do  so ;  but  when  you  find  despotism 
really  necessary,  be  despotic  in  good  earnest. 

Bear  constantly  in  mind  the  truth  that  the  aim 
of  your  discipline  should  be  to  produce  a  self-gov- 
erning being ;  not  to  produce  a  being  to  be  gov- 
erned Jjy  others.  Were  your  children  fated  to  pass 
their  lives  as  slaves,  you  could  not  too  much  accus- 
tom them  to  slavery  during  their  childhood  ;  but 
as  they  are  bj^-and-by  to  be  free  men,  with  no  one 
to  control  their  daily  conduct,  you  cannot  too  much 
accustom  them  to  self-control  while  they  are  still 
under  your  eye.  This  it  is  which  makes  the  sys- 
tem of  discipline  by  natural  consequences,  so  espe- 
cially appropriate  to  the  social  state  which  we  in 
England  have  now  reached.  Under  early,  tyran- 
nical forms  of  society,  when  one  of  the  chief  evils 
the  citizen  had  to  fear  was  the  anger  of  his  supc 


riors,  it  "was  well  that  during  cliildhood  parental 
vengeance  should  be  a  predominant  means  of  gov- 
ernment. But  now  that  the  citizen  has  little  to 
fear  from  any  one — now  that  the  good  or  evil  which 
he  experiences  throughout  life  is  mainly  that  which 
in  the  nature  of  things  results  from  his  own  con- 
duct, it  is  desirable  that  from  his  first  years  he 
should  begin  to  learn,  experimentally,  the  good  or 
evil  consequences  which  naturally  follow  this  or 
that  conduct.  Aim,  therefore,  to  diminish  the 
amount  of  parental  government  as  fast  as  you  can 
substitute  for  it  in  your  child's  mind  that  self-gov- 
ernment arising  from  a  foresight  of  results.  In  in- 
fancy a  considerable  amount  of  absolutism  is  ne- 
cessary. A  three-year  old  urchin  playing  with  an 
open  razor,  cannot  be  allowed  to  learn  by  thib  dis- 
cipline of  consequences  ;  for  the  consequences  may, 
in  such  a  case,  be  too  serious.  But  as  intelligence 
increases,  the  number  of  instances  calling  for  per- 
emptory interference  may  be,  and  should  be,  di- 
minished ;  with  the  view  of  gradually  ending  them 
as  maturity  is  approached.  All  periods  of  transi- 
tion are  dangerous  ;  and  the  most  dangerous  is  the 
transition  from  the  restraint  of  the  family  circle  to 
the  non-restraint  of  the  world.  Hence  the  impor 
tance  of  pursuing  the  policy  we  advocate ;  which, 
alike  by  cultivating  a  child's  faculty  of  self-restraint, 
by  continually  increasing  the  degree  in  which  it  ia 
left  to  its  self-constraint,  and  by  so  bringing  it,  step 
by  step,  to  a  state  of  unaided  self-restraint,  obliter- 
ates  the  ordinary  sudden  and  hazardous  change. 


from  externally-governed  youth  to  internall^'-gov- 
erned  maturity.  Let  the  history  of  your  domestic 
rule  typity,  in  little,  the  history  of  our  political 
rule :  at  the  outset,  autocratic  control,  where  con- 
trol is  really  needful ;  by-and-by  an  incipient  con- 
stitutionalism, in  which  the  liberty  of  the  subject 
gains  some  express  recognition ;  successive  exten- 
sions of  this  liberty  of  the  subject  ;  gradually  end- 
ing in  parental  abdication. 

Do  not  regret  the  exhibition  of  considerable 
self-will  on  the  part  of  your  children.  It  is  the 
correlative  of  that  diminished  coerciveness  so  con- 
spicuous in  modern  education.  The  greater  ten- 
dency  to  assert  freedom  of  action  on  the  one  side, 
corresponds  to  the  smaller  tendency  to  tyrannize  on 
the  other.  They  both  indicate  an  approach  to  the 
system  of  discipline  we  contend  for,  under  which 
children  will  be  more  and  more  led  to  rule  them- 
selves by  the  experience  of  natural  consequences ; 
and  they  are  both  the  accompaniments  of  our  moi-e 
advanced  social  state.  The  independent  English 
boy  is  the  father  of  the  independent  English  man  ; 
and  you  cannot  have  the  last  without  the  first. 
German  teachers  say  that  they  had  rather  manage 
a  dozen  German  boys  than  one  English  one.  Shall 
\ve,  therefore,  wish  that  our  boys  had  the  managea- 
bleness  of  the  German  ones,  and  with  it  the  sub- 
missiveness  and  political  serfdom  of  adult  Ger- 
mans? Or  shall  we  not  rather  tolerate  in  our  boys 
those  feelings  which  nuike  them  free  men,  and 
modify  our  methods  accordingly? 


Lastly,  always  remember  that  to  educate  rightly 
is  not  a  simple  and  easy  thing,  bnt  a  complex  and 
extremely  difficult  thing :  the  hardest  task  which 
devolves  upon  adult  life.  The  rough  and  ready 
style  of  domestic  government  is  indeed  practicable 
by  the  meanest  and  most  uncultivated  intellects. 
Slaps  and  sharp  words  are  penalties  that  suggest 
themselves  alike  to  the  least  reclaimed  barbarian 
and  the  most  stolid  peasant.  Even  brutes  can  use 
tliis  method  of  discipline;  as  you  may  see  in  the 
growl  and  half-bite  with  which  a  bitch  will  check 
a  too-exigeant  puppy.  But  if  you  would  carry  out 
with  success  a  rational  and  civilized  system,  you 
must  be  prepared  for  considerable  mental  exertion 
— for  some  study,  some  ingenuity,  some  patience, 
some  self-control.  You  will  have  habitually  to 
trace  the  consequences  of  conduct — to  consider 
what  are  the  results  which  in  adult  life  follow 
certain  kind  of  acts ;  and  then  you  will  have  to 
devise  methods  by  which  parallel  results  shall  be 
entailed  on  the  parallel  acts  of  your  children. 
You  will  daily  be  called  upon  to  analyze  the  mo- 
tives of  juvenile  conduct:  you  must  distinguish 
between  acts  that  are  really  good  and  those  which, 
though  externally  simulating  them,  proceed  from 
inferior  impulses  ;  while  you  must  be  ever  on  your 
guard  against  the  cruel  mistake  not  unfrequently 
made,  of  translating  neutral  acts  into  transgres- 
sions, or  ascribing  worse  feelings  than  were  enter- 
tained. You  must  more  or  less  modify  your  method 
to  suit  the  disposition  of  each  child ;  and  must  bo 


prepared  to  make  further  modifications  as  each 
cliikl's  disposition  enters  on  a  new  phase.  Your 
faith  will  often  be  taxed  to  maintain  the  requisite 
perseverance  in  a  course  which  seems  to  produce 
little  or  no  effect.  Especially  if  you  are  dealing 
"with  children  who  have  been  wrongly  treated,  you 
must  be  prepared  for  a  lengthened  trial  of  patience 
before  succeeding  with  better  methods  ;  seeing  that 
that  which  is  not  easy  even  where  a  right  state  of 
feeling  has  been  established  from  the  beginning, 
becomes  doubly  difficult  when  a  wrong  state  of 
feeling  has  to  be  set  right.  Xot  only  will  you  have 
constantly  to  analyze  the  motives  of  your  children, 
but  you  will  have  to  analyze  your  own  motives — 
to  discriminate  between  those  internal  suggestions 
springing  from  a  true  parental  solicitude,  and  those 
which  spring  from  your  own  selfishness,  from  your 
love  of  ease,  from  your  lust  of  dominion.  And 
then,  more  trying  still,  you  will  have  not  only  to 
detect,  but  to  curb  these  baser  impulses.  In  brief, 
you  will  have  to  carry  on  your  higher  education  at 
the  same  time  that  you  are  educating  your  chil- 
dren. Intellectually  you  must  cultivate  to  good 
purpose  that  most  complex  of  subjects — human  na- 
ture and  its  laws,  as  exhibited  in  your  children,  in 
yourself,  and  in  the  world.  Morally,  you  must 
keep  in  constant  exercise  3'our  higher  feelings,  and 
restrain  your  lower.  It  is  a  truth  yet  remaining  to 
be  recognised,  that  the  last  stage  in  the  mental  de- 
velopment of  each  man  and  woman  is  to  be  reached 
only  through  the  proper  discharge  of  the  parental 


duties.  And  when  this  truth  is  recognised,  it  will 
be  seen  how  admirable  is  the  ordination  in  virtue 
of  which  human  beings  are  led  by  their  strongest 
affections  to  subject  themselves  to  a  discipline 
which  they  would  else  elude. 

While  some  will  probably  regard  this  concep- 
tion of  education  as  it  should  be,  with  doubt  and 
discouragement,  others  will,  we  think,  perceive  in 
the  exalted  ideal  which  it  involves,  evidence  of  its 
truth.  That  it  cannot  be  realized  by  the  impulsive, 
the  unsympathetic,  and  the  short-sighted,  but  de- 
mands the  higher  attributes  of  human  nature,  they 
will  see  to  be  evidence  of  its  fitness  for  the  more 
advanced  states  of  humanity.  Though  it  calls  for 
much  labour  and  self-sacrifice,  they  will  see  that 
it  promises  an  abundant  return  of  liappiness,  im- 
mediate and  remote.  They  will  see  that  while  in 
its  injurious  eflects  on  both  parent  and  child  a  bad 
system  is  twice  cursed,  a  good  system  is  twice 
blessed — it  blesses  him  that  trains  and  him  that's 

It  will  be  seen  that  we  have  said  nothing  in 
this  Chapter  about  the  transcendental  distinction 
between  right  and  wrong,  of  which  wise  men  know 
so  little,  and  children  nothing.  All  thinkers  are 
agreed  that  we  may  find  the  criterion  of  right  in 
the  effect  of  actions,  if  we  do  not  find  the  rule 
there  ;  and  that  is  sufficient  for  the  purpose  we 
have  had  in  view.  Nor  have  we  introduced  the 
religious  element.     We  have  confined  our  inquiries 


to  a  nearer,  and  a  much  more  neglected  field, 
though  a  very  important  one.  Our  readers  may 
supplement  our  thoughts  in  any  way  they  please ; 
we  are  only  concerned  tliat  they  should  be  accepted 
as  far  as  they  go. 



Equally  at  the  squire's  table  after  the  with- 
drawal of  the  ladies,  at  the  farmers'  market-ordi- 
nary, and  at  the  village  ale-house,  the  topic  which, 
after  the  political  question  of  the  day,  excites  per- 
haps the  most  general  interest,  is  the  management 
of  animals.  Riding  home  from  hunting,  the  con- 
versation is  pretty  sure  to  gravitate  towards  horse- 
breeding,  and  pedigrees,  and  comments  on  this  or 
that  '  good  point ; '  while  a  day  on  the  moors  is 
very  unlikely  to  pass  without  something  being  said 
on  the  treatment  of  dogs.  When  crossing  the 
fields  together  from  church,  the  tenants  of  adjacent 
farms  are  apt  to  pass  from  criticisms  on  the  ser- 
mon to  criticisms  on  the  weather,  the  crops,  and 
the  stock ;  and  thence  to  slide  into  discussions  on 
the  various  kinds  of  fodder  and  their  feeding  quali- 
ties. Hodge  and  Giles,  after  comparing  notes  over 
their  respective  pig-styes,  show  by  their  remarks 
that  they  have  been  more  or  less  observant  of  their 
masters'  beasts  and  sheep ;  and  of  the  effects  pro- 
duced on  them  by  this  or  that  kind  of  treatment. 
Nor  is  it  only  among  the  rural  population  that  the 
regulations  of  the  kennel,  the  stable,  the  cow-shed, 


and  tlie  slieep-peu,  are  favourite  subjects.  In 
towns,  too,  the  numerous  artisans  wlio  keep  dogs, 
the  young  men  wlio  are  rich  enough  to  now  and 
then  indulge  their  sporting  tendencies,  and  tlieir 
more  staid  seniors  who  talk  over  agricultural  pro- 
gress or  read  Mr.  Mechi's  annual  reports  and  Mr. 
Caii'd's  letters  to  the  Times^  form,  when  added  to- 
gether, a  large  portion  of  the  inhabitants.  Take 
the  adult  males  throughout  the  kingdom,  and  a 
great  majority  will  be  found  to  show  some  interest 
in  the  breeding,  rearing,  or  training  of  animals,  of 
one  kind  or  other. 

But,  during  after-dinner  conversations,  or  at 
other  times  of  like  intercourse,  who  hears  anything 
said  about  the  rearing  of  children  ?  AVhen  the 
country  gentleman  has  paid  his  daily  visit  to  the 
stable,  and  personally  inspected  the  condition  and 
treatment  of  his  horses ;  when  he  lias  glanced  at 
his  minor  live  stock,  and  given  directions  about 
them;  how  often  does  he  go  up  to  the  nursery  and 
examine  into  its  dietary,  its  hours,  its  ventilation? 
On  his  library  shelves  may  be  found  White's  Fai'- 
riery^  Stephen's  Booh  of  the  Farin^  Nimrod  oii  the 
Condition  of  Hunters  ',  and  with  the  contents  of 
these  he  is  more  or  less  familiar ;  but  how  many 
books  has  he  read  on  the  management  of  infancy 
and  childhood  ?  The  fattening  properties  of  oil- 
cake, the  relative  values  of  hay  and  chopped  straw, 
the  dangers  of  unlimited  clover,  are  points  on 
which  ever}'  landlord,  farmer,  and  peasant  has 
Bome   knowledge ;    but   what  proportion  of  them 


know  much  about  tlic  qualities  of  the  food  they 
give  tlieir  children,  and  its  fitness  to  the  constitu- 
tional needs  of  growing  boys  and  girls  ?  Perhaps 
the  business  interests  of  these  classes  will  be  as- 
signed as  accounting  for  this  anomaly.  The  explana- 
tion is  inadequate,  however  ;  seeing  that  the  same 
contrast  holds  more  or  less  among  other  classes. 
Of  a  score  of  townspeople  few,  if  any,  would 
prove  ignorant  of  the  fact  that  it  is  undesirable  to 
work  a  liorse  soon  after  it  has  eaten ;  and  yet,  of 
this  same  score,  supposing  them  all  to  be  fathers, 
probably  not  one  would  be  found  who  had  consid- 
ered whether  the  time  elapsing  between  his  chil- 
dren's dinner  and  their  resumption  of  lessons  was 
sufiicient.  Indeed,  on  cross-examination,  nearly 
every  man  would  disclose  the  latent  opinion  that 
the  regimen  of  the  nursery  was  no  concern  of  his. 
"  Oh,  I  leave  all  those  things  to  the  women,"  would 
probably  be  the  reply.  And  in  most  cases  the  tone 
and  manner  of  this  reply  would  convey  the  impli- 
cation, til  at  such  cares  are  not  consistent  with  mas- 
culine dignity. 

Consider  the  fact  from  any  but  the  conventional 
point  of  view,  and  it  will  seem  strange  that  while 
the  raising  of  first-rate  bullocks  is  an  occupation 
on  which  men  of  education  willingly  bestow  much 
time,  inquir}'-,  and  thought,  the  bringing  up  of  fine 
human  beings  is  an  occupation  tacitly  voted  un- 
worthy of  their  attention.  Mammas  M'ho  have 
been  taught  little  but  languages,  music,  and  accom- 
plishments, aided  by  nurses  full  of  antiquated  pre- 

222  nirsicAL  education. 

judices,  are  held  competent  regulators  of  the  food, 
clothing,  and  exercise  of  children.  Meanwhile  tlie 
fathers  read  books  and  periodicals,  attend  agricul- 
tural meetings,  try  experiments,  and  engage  in  dis- 
cussions, all  with  the  view  of  discovering  how  to 
fatten  prize  pigs !  Infinite  pains  will  be  taken  to 
produce  a  racer  that  shall  win  the  Derby  :  none  to 
produce  a  modern  athlete.  Had  Gulliver  narrated 
of  the  Laputans  that  the  men  vied  with  each  other 
in  learning  how  best  to  rear  the  otFspring  of  other 
creatures,  and  were  careless  of  learning  how  best 
to  rear  their  own  offspring,  he  would  have  paral- 
leled any  of  the  other  absurdities  he  ascribes  to 

The  matter  is  a  serious  one,  however.  Ludi- 
crous as  is  the  antithesis,  the  fact  it  expresses  is  not 
less  disastrous.  As  remarks  a  suggestive  writer, 
the  first  requisite  to  success  in  life  is  "  to  be  a  good 
animal ;"  and  to  be  a  nation  of  good  animals  is  tho 
first  condition  to  national  prosperity.  Not  only  is 
it  that  the  event  of  a  war  often  turns  on  the  strength 
and  hardiness  of  soldiers ;  but  it  is  that  the  con- 
tests of  commerce  are  in  part  determined  by  the 
bodily  endurance  of  producers.  Thus  far  we  have 
found  no  reason  to  fear  trials  of  strength  with  other 
races  in  either  of  these  fields.  But  there  are  not 
wanting  signs  that  our  powers  will  presently  be 
taxed  to  the  uttermost.  Already  under  the  keen 
competition  of  modern  life,  the  application  required 
of  almost  every  one  is  such  as  few  can  bear  with' 
out  more  or  less  injury.     Already  thousands  break 

SCHOOL    OF    "  MUSCULAR    CiliaSTIAXITY."  223 

down  under  the  high  pressure  they  are  subject  to. 
If  this  pressure  continues  to  increase,  as  it  seems 
likely  to  do,  it  will  try  severely  all  but  the  sound- 
est constitutions.  Hence  it  is  becoming  of  especial 
importance  that  the  training  of  children  should  be 
so  carried  on,  as  not  only  to  fit  them  mentally  for 
the  struggle  before  them,  but  also  to  make  them 
physically  fit  to  bear  its  excessive  wear  and  tear. 

Happily  the  matter  is  beginning  to  attract  at- 
tention. The  writings  of  Mr.  Kingsley  indicate  a 
reaction  against  over-culture  ;  carried,  as  reactions 
usually  are,  somewhat  too  far.  Occasional  letters 
and  leaders  in  the  newspapers  have  shown  an 
awakening  interest  in  physical  training.  And  the 
formation  of  a  school,  significantly  nicknamed  that 
of  "  muscular  Christianity,"  implies  a  growing 
opinion  that  our  present  methods  of  bringing  up 
children  do  not  sufliciently  regard  the  welfare  of  the 
body.     The  topic  is  evidently  ripe  for  discussion. 

To  conform  the  regimen  of  the  nursery  and  the 
school  to  the  established  truths  of  modern  science 
— this  is  the  desideratum.  It  is  time  that  the  ben- 
efits which  our  sheep  and  oxen  have  for  years  past 
derived  from  the  investigations  of  the  laboratory, 
should  be  participated  in  by  our  children.  With- 
out calling  in  question  the  great  importance  of 
horse-training  and  pig-feeding,  we  would  suggest 
that,  as  the  rearing  of  well-grown  men  and  women 
is  also  of  some  moment,  the  conclusions  indicated 
by  theory,  and  endorsed  by  practice,  ought  to  bo 

acted  on  in  the  last  case  as  in  the  first.     Probably 


not  a  few  will  be  startled — ^perliaps  offended — by 
this  collocation  of  ideas.  But  it  is  a  fact  not  to  be 
disputed,  and  to  which  we  bad  best  reconcile  our- 
selves, that  man  is  subject  to  the  same  organic 
laws  as  inferior  creatures.  No  anatomist,  no  phys- 
iologist, no  chemist,  will  for  a  moment  hesitate  to 
assert,  that  the  general  principles  which  rule  over 
the  vital  processes  in  animals  equally  rule  over  the 
vital  processes  in  man.  And  a  candid  admission 
of  this  fact  is  not  without  its  reward  :  namely,  that 
the  truths  established  by  observation  and  experi- 
ment on  brutes,  become  more  or  less  available  for 
human  guidance.  Rudimentary  as  is  the  Science 
of  Life,  it  has  already  attained  to  certain  funda- 
mental principles  underlying  the  development  of 
all  organisms,  the  human  included.  That  which 
lias  now  to  be  done,  and  that  which  we  shall  en- 
deavour in  some  measure  to  do,  is  to  show  the 
bearing  of  these  fundamental  principles  upon  the 
physical  training  of  childhood  and  youth. 

The  rhythmical  tendency  which  is  traceable  in 
all  departments  of  social  life — which  is  illustrated 
in  the  access  of  despotism  after  revolution,  or,  among 
ourselves,  in  the  alternation  of  reforming  epochs  and 
conservative  epochs — which,  after  a  dissolute  age, 
brings  an  age  of  asceticism,  and  conversely — which, 
in  commerce,  produces  the  regularly  recurring  in- 
flations and  panics — which  carries  the  devotees  of 
fashion  from  one  absurd  extreme  to  the  opposite 
one ; — this  rhythmical   tendency   affects   also   our 


table-habits,  and  by  implication,  the  dietary  of  the 
young.  After  a  period  distinguished  by  hard  drink- 
ing and  hard  eating,  has  come  a  period  of  compara- 
tive sobriety,  which,  in  teetotalism  and  vegetarian- 
ism, exhibits  extreme  forms  of  its  protest  against  the 
riotous  living  of  the  past.  And  along  with  this 
change  in  the  regimen  of  adults,  has  come  a  paral- 
lel change  in  the  regimen  for  boys  and  girls.  In 
past  generations,  the  belief  was,  that  the  more  a 
child  could  be  induced  to  eat,  the  better ;  and  even 
now,  among  farmers  and  in  remote  districts,  where 
traditional  ideas  most  linger,  parents  may  be  found 
who  tempt  their  children  to  gorge  themselves.  But 
among  the  educated  classes,  who  chiefly  display  this 
reaction  towards  abstemiousness,  there  may  be  seen 
a  decided  leaning  to  the  under-feeding,  rather  than 
the  overfeeding,  of  children.  Indeed  their  disgust 
for  bygone  animalism,  is  more  clearly  shown  in  the 
treatment  of  their  oftspring  than  in  the  treatment 
of  themselves  ;  seeing  that  while  their  disguised 
asceticism  is,  in  so  far  as  their  personal  conduct  is 
concerned,  kept  in  check  by  their  appetites,  it  has 
full  play  in  legislating  for  juveniles. 

That  over-feeding  and  under-feeding  are  both 
bad,  is  a  truism.  Of  the  two,  however,  the  last  is 
tlie  worst.  As  writes  a  high  authority,  '^  the  effects 
of  casual  repletion  are  less  prejudicial,  and  more 
easily  corrected,  than  those  of  inanition."  *  Add 
to  which,  that  where  there  has  been  no  injudicious 
interference,  repletion  will  seldom  occur.     "  Excess 

*  Cyclopedia  of  Practical  Medicine. 

22G  ruTSiCAL  edlcation. 

is  tliG  vice  rather  of  adults  than  of  the  young,  who 
are  rarely  eitlier  gourmands  or  epicures,  unless 
through  the  fault  of  those  who  rear  them."  *  This 
system  of  restriction  which  many  parents  think  so 
necessary,  is  based  upon  very  inadequate  observa- 
tion, and  very  erroneous  reasoning.  There  is  an 
over-legislation  in  the  nursery,  as  well  as  an  over- 
legislation  in  the  State  ;  and  one  of  the  most  injuri- 
ous forms  of  it  is  this  limitation  in  the  quantity  of 

"  But  are  children  to  be  allowed  to  surfeit  them- 
selves? Shall  they  be  suffered  to  take  their  fill  ot 
dainties  and  make  themselves  ill,  as  they  certainly 
will  do?  "  As  thus  put,  the  question  admits  of  but 
one  reply.  But  as  thns  put,  it  assumes  the  point  at 
issue.  We  contend  tliat,  as  appetite  is  a  good  guide 
to  all  the  lower  creation — as  it  is  a  good  guide  to 
the  infant — as  it  is  a  good  guide  to  the  invalid — as 
it  is  a  good  guide  to  the  differently-placed  races  of 
men,  and  as  it  is  a  good  guide  for  every  adult  who 
leads  a  healthful  life  ;  it  may  safely  be  inferred  that 
it  is  a  good  guide  for  childhood.  It  would  be 
strange  indeed  were  it  here  alone  untrustworthy. 

Probably  not  a  few  will  read  this  reply  with 
some  impatience ;  being  able,  as  they  think,  to  cite 
facts  totally  at  variance  with  it.  It  will  appear 
absurd  if  we  deny  the  relevancy  of  these  facts;  and 
yet  the  paradox  is  quite  defensible.  The  truth  is, 
that  the  instances  of  excess  which  such  persons 
have  in  mind,  are  usually  the  consequences  of  tlie 

*  Cyclopcedia  of  Practical  Mcdkina. 


restrictive  system  they  seem  to  justify.  They  are 
the  sensual  reactions  caused  by  a  more  or  less  asce- 
tic regimen.  They  illustrate  on  a  small  scale  that 
commonly  remarked  fact,  that  those  who  during 
youth  have  been  subject  to  the  most  rigorous  dis- 
cipline, are  apt  afterwards  to  rush  into  the  wildest 
extravagances.  They  are  analogous  to  those  fright' 
ful  phenomena,  once  not  uncommon  in  convents, 
where  nuns  suddenly  lapsed  from  the  extremest 
austerities  into  an  almost  demoniac  wickedness. 
They  simply  exhibit  the  uncontrollable  vehemence 
of  a  long-denied  desire.  Consider  the  ordinary 
tastes  and  the  ordinary  treatment  of  children.  The 
love  of  sweets  is  conspicuous  and  almost  universal 
among  them.  Probably  ninety -nine  people  in  a 
hundred,  presume  that  there  is  nothing  more  in  this 
than  gratification  of  the  palate ;  and  that,  in  com- 
mon with  other  sensual  desires,  it  should  be  dis- 
couraged. The  physiologist,  however,  whose  dis- 
coveries lead  him  to  an  ever-increasing  reverence 
for  the  arrangements  of  things,  will  suspect  that 
there  is  something  more  in  this  love  of  sweets  than 
the  current  hypothesis  suj^poses ;  and  a  little  in- 
quiry confirms  the  suspicion.  Any  work  on  organic 
chemistry  shows  that  sugar  plays  an  important  part 
in  the  vital  processes.  Both  saccharine  and  fatty 
matters  are  eventually  oxidized  in  the  body;  and 
there  is  an  accompanying  evolution  of  heat.  Sugar 
is  the  form  to  which  sundry  other  compounds  have 
to  be  reduced  before  they  are  available  as  heat- 
making  food  ;  and  XkA'S,  formation  of  sugar  is  carried 


on  in  the  body.  Not  only  is  Htarcli  changed  into 
sugar  in  the  course  of  digestion,  but  it  has  been 
proved  by  M.  Claude  Bernard  that  the  liver  is  a 
factory  in  which  other  constituents  of  food  are  trans- 
formed into  sugar.  Now,  when  to  the  fact  that 
children  have  a  marked  desire  for  this  valuable 
heat-food,  we  join  the  fact  that  they  have  usually  a 
marked  dislike  to  that  food  which  gives  out  the 
greatest  amount  of  heat  during  its  oxidation  (name- 
ly, fat),  we  shall  see  strong  reason  for  thinking  that 
excess  of  the  one  compensates  for  defect  of  the  other 
— that  the  organism  demands  more  sugar  because 
it  cannot  deal  with  much  fet.  Again,  children  are 
usually  very  fond  of  vegetable  acids.  Fruits  of  all 
kinds  are  their  delight ;  and,  in  the  absence  of  any- 
thing better,  they  will  devour  unripe  gooseberries  and 
the  sourest  of  crabs.  JSTow,  not  only  are  vegetable 
acids,  in  common  with  mineral  ones,  very  gooil 
tonics,  and  beneficial  as  such  when  taken  in  modera- 
tion ;  but  they  have,  when  administered  in  their 
natural  forms,  other  advantages.  "  Kipe  fruit," 
says  Dr.  Andrew  Combe,  "  is  more  freely  given  on 
the  Continent  than  in  this  country  ;  and,  particularly 
when  the  bowels  act  imperfectly,  it  is  often  very 
useful."  See,  then,  the  discord  between  the  instinc- 
tive wants  of  children  and  their  habitual  treatment. 
Here  are  two  dominant  desires,  which  there  is  good 
reason  to  believe  express  certain  needs  of  the  juve- 
nile constitution  ;  and  not  only  are  they  ignored  in 
the  nursery  regimen,  but  there  is  a  general  ten- 
dency to  forbid  the  gratification  of  them.     Bread' 


and-inilk  in  the  morning,  tea  and  bread-and-butter 
at  night,  or  some  dietary  equally  insipid,  is  rigidly 
adhered  to ;  and  any  ministration  to  the  palate  is 
thought  not  only  needless  but  wrong.  What  is  the 
necessary  consequence  ?  When,  on  fete-days  there 
is  an  unlimited  access  to  good  things — when  a  gift 
of  pocket-money  brings  the  contents  of  the  confec- 
tioner's window  within  reach,  or  when  by  some 
accident  the  free  run  of  a  fruit-garden  is  obtained ; 
then  the  long-denied,  and  therefore  intense,  desires 
lead  to  great  excesses.  There  is  an  impromptu 
carnival,  caused  not  only  by  the  release  from  past 
restraints,  but  also  by  the  consciousness  that  a  long 
Lent  will  begin  on  the  morrow.  And  then,  when 
the  evils  of  repletion  display  themselves,  it  is 
argued  that  children  must  not  be  loft  to  the  guid- 
ance of  their  appetites  !  These  disastrous  results  of 
artificial  restrictions,  are  themselves  cited  as  prov- 
ino;  the  need  for  further  restrictions  !  We  contend, 
therefore,  that  the  reasoning  commonly  used  to 
justify  this  system  of  interference  is  vicious.  We 
contend  that,  were  children  allowed  daily  to  par- 
take of  these  more  sapid  edibles,  for  which  there  is 
a  physiological  requirement,  they  would  rarely  ex- 
ceed, as  they  now  mostly  do  A'hen  they  have  the 
opportunity  :  were  fruit,  as  Dr.  Combe  recommends, 
"  to  constitute  a  part  of  the  regular  food  "  (given,  as 
he  advises,  not  between  meals,  but  along  with 
them),  there  would  be  none  of  that  craving  which 
prompts  the  devouring  of  such  fruits  as  crabs  and 
sloes.     And  similarly  in  other  cases. 


Not  only  is  it  that  the  dj^^'ion  reasons  for  trust- 
ing the  appetites  of  children  are  so  strong ;  and 
that  the  reasons  assigned  for  distrusting  them  are 
invalid  ;  but  it  is  that  no  other  guidance  is  worthy 
of  any  confidence.  What  is  the  value  of  this  pa- 
rental judgment,  set  up  as  an  alternative  regulator? 
When  to  "Oliver  ashing  for  more,"  the  mamma  or 
the  governess  replies  in  the  negative,  on  what  data 
does  she  proceed  ?  She  thinks  he  has  had  enough. 
But  where  are  her  grounds  for  so  thinking?  Has 
she  some  secret  understanding  with  the  boy's 
stomach — some  clairvoyant  power  enabling  her  to 
discern  the  needs  of  his  body  ?  If  not,  how  can  she 
safely  decide  ?  Does  she  not  know  that  the  demand 
of  the  system  for  food  is  determined  by  numerous 
and  involved  causes — varies  with  the  temperature, 
with  the  hygrometric  state  of  the  air,  with  the  elec- 
tric state  of  the  air — varies  also  according  to  the 
exercise  taken,  acccn-ding  to  the  kind  and  quality  of 
food  eaten  at  the  last  meal,  and  according  to  the 
rapidity  with  which  the  last  meal  was  digested  ? 
How  can  she  calculate  the  result  of  such  a  combina- 
tion of  causes  ?  As  we  heard  said  by  the  father  of 
a  tive-years-old  boy,  who  stands  a  head  taller  than 
most  of  his  age,  and  is  proportionately  robust,  rosy, 
and  active : — "  I  can  see  no  artificial  standard  by 
which  to  mete  out  his  food.  If  I  say,  '  this  much  is 
enough,'  it  is  a  mere  guess  ;  and  the  guess  is  as  like- 
ly to  be  wrong  as  riglit.  Consequently,  having  no 
faith  in  guesses,  I  let  him  eat  his  fill."  And  cer- 
tainly, any  one  judging  of  his  policy  by  its  efi'ects, 

NATDKE   AND    LNSTmCT   TO   BE   TRUSTED.         231 

would  be  constrained  to  admit  its  wisdom.  In  truth, 
this  confidence,  with  which  most  parents  take  upon 
tliemselves  to  legislate  for  the  stomachs  of  their 
children,  proves  their  unacquaintance  with  the 
principles  of  physiology :  if  they  knew  more,  thej 
would  he  more  modest.  "  The  pride  of  science  is 
luimble  when  compared  with  the  pride  of  igno- 
rance." If  any  one  would  learn  how  little  faith  is  to 
be  placed  in  human  judgments,  and  how  much  in 
the  pre-established  arrangements  of  things,  let  him 
compare  the  rashness  of  the  inexperienced  physician 
with  the  caution  of  the  most  advanced  ;  or  let  him 
dip  into  Sir  John  Forbes'  work,  On  Nature  and  Art 
in  the  Cure  of  Disease  ;  and  he  will  then  see  that, 
in  proportion  as  men  gain  a  greater  knowledge  of 
the  laws  of  life,  they  come  to  have  less  confidence 
in  themselves,  and  more  in  Nature. 

Turning  from  the  cpiestion  oi  quantity  of  food  to 
that  of  quality^  we  may  discern  tlie  same  ascetic 
tendency.  Not  simply  a  more  or  less  restricted 
diet,  but  a  comparatively  low  diet,  is  thought 
proper  for  children.  Tlie  current  opinion  is,  that 
they  should  have  but  little  animal  food.  Among 
the  less  wealthy  classes,  economy  seems  to  have 
dictated  this  opinion — the  wish  has  been  father  to 
tlie  thought.  Parents  not  afibrding  to  buy  much 
meat,  and  liking  meat  themselves,  answer  the  peti- 
tions of  juveniles  with — "Meat  is  not  good  for  little 
boys  and  girls ;"  and  this,  at  first,  probably  nothing 
but  a  convenient  excuse,  has  by  repetition  grown 
into  an  article  of  faith.     While  the  classes  with 


Avliom  cost  is  not  a  consideration,  have  been  swujed 
partly  by  tlie  example  of  the  .majority,  partly  by 
the  influence  of  nurses  drawn  from  the  lower  classes, 
and  in  some  measure  by  the  reaction  against  past 

If,  however,  we  inquire  for  the  basis  of  this 
opinion,  we  find  little  or  none.  It  is  a  dogma  re- 
peated and  received  without  proof,  like  that  which, 
for  thousands  of  years,  insisted  on  the  necessity  of 
swaddling-clothes.  It  may  indeed  be  true  that,  to 
the  young  child's  stomach,  not  yet  endowed  with 
much  muscular  power,  meat,  which  requires  con- 
siderable trituration  before  it  can  be  made  into 
chyme,  is  an  unfit  aliment.  But  this  objection 
does  not  tell  against  animal  food  from  which  the 
fibrous  part  has  been  extracted  ;  nor  does  it  apply 
when,  after  the  lapse  of  two  or  three  years,  consid^ 
erable  muscular  vigour  has  been  acquired.  And 
while  the  evidence  in  support  of  this  dogma,  par- 
tially valid  in  the  case  of  very  young  children,  is 
not  valid  in  the  case  of  older  children,  who  arC; 
nevertheless,  ordinarily  treated  in  conformity  with 
the  dogma,  the  adverse  evidence  is  abundant  and 
conclusive.  The  verdict  of  science  is  exactly  oppo- 
site to  the  popular  opinion.  We  have  put  the  ques- 
tion to  two  of  our  leading  physicians,  and  to  sev- 
eral of  the  most  distinguished  physiologists,  and 
they  uniformly  agree  in  the  conclusion,  that  chil- 
dren should  have  a  diet  not  less  nutritive,  but,  if 
anything,  7nore  nutritive  than  that  of  adults. 

The  grounds  for  this  conclusion  are  obvious,  and 


the  reasoning  simple.  It  needs  but  to  compare 
the  vital  processes  of  a  man  with  those  of  a  boy,  to 
see  at  once  that  the  demand  for  sustenance  is  rela- 
tively greater  in  the  boy  than  in  the  man.  What 
are  the  ends  for  which  a  man  requires  food  ?  Each 
day  his  body  undergoes  more  or  less  wear — wear 
through  muscular  exertion,  wear  of  the  nervous 
system  through  mental  actions,  wear  of  the  viscera 
in  carrying  on  the  functions  of  life ;  and  the  tissue 
thus  wasted  has  to  be  renewed.  Each  day,  too,  by 
perpetual  radiation,  his  body  loses  a  large  amount 
of  heat ;  and  as,  for  the  continuance  of  the  vital 
actions,  the  temperature  of  the  body  must  be  main- 
tained, tills  loss  has  to  be  compensated  by  a  con- 
stant production  of  heat :  to  which  end  certain  con- 
stituents of  the  food  are  unceasingly  undergoing 
oxidation.  To  make  up  for  the  day's  waste,  and  to 
supply  fuel  for  the  day's  expenditure  of  heat,  are, 
then,  the  sole  pui-poses  for  which  the  adult  requires 
food.  Consider,  now,  the  case  of  the  boy.  He, 
too,  wastes  the  substance  of  his  body  by  action ; 
and  it  needs  but  to  note  his  restless  activity  to  see 
that,  in  proportion  to  his  bulk,  he  probably  wastes 
as  much  as  a  man.  He,  too,  loses  heat  by  radia- 
tion ;  and,  as  his  body  exposes  a  greater  surface  in 
proportion  to  its  mass  than  does  that  of  a  man,  and 
therefore  loses  heat  more  rapidly,  the  quantity  of 
heat-food  he  requires  is,  bulk  for  bulk,  greater  than 
that  required  by  a  man.  So  that  even  had  the  boy 
no  other  vital  processes  to  carry  on  than  the  man 
has,  he  would  need,  relatively  to  his  size,  a  some 


wliat  larger  supply  of  luitriment.  But,  besides  re- 
pairing his  body  and  maintaining  its  heat,  the  boy 
lias  to  make  new  tissue — to  grow.  After  waste 
and  thermal  loss  have  been  provided  for,  such  sur- 
plus of  nutriment  as  remains,  goes  to  the  further 
building  up  of  the  frame  ;  and  only  in  virtue  of  this 
surplus  is  normal  growth  possible — the  growth  that 
sometimes  takes  place  in  the  absence  of  such  sur- 
plus, causing  a  manifest  prostration  consequent  up- 
on defective  repair.  IIow  peremptory  is  the  de- 
mand of  the  unfolding  oi'ganism  for  materials,  is 
seen  alike  in  that  "  school-boy  hunger,"-  which 
after-life  rarely  parallels  in  intensity,  and  in  the 
comparatively  quick  return  of  appetite.  And  if 
there  needs  further  evidence  of  this  extra  necessity 
for  nutriment,  we  have  it  in  the  fact  that,  during 
the  famines  following  shipwrecks  and  other  disas- 
ters, the  children  are  the  iirst  to  die. 

This  relatively  greater  need  for  nutriment  be- 
ing admitted,  as  it  must  perforce  be,  the  question 
that  remains  is — shall  we  meet  it  by  giving  an  ex- 
cessive cpiantity  of  what  may  be  called  dilute 
food,  or  a  more  moderate  quantity  of  concentrated 
food  ?  The  nutriment  obtainable  from  a  given 
weight  of  meat  is  obtainable  only  from  a  larger 
weight  of  bread,  or  from  a  still  larger  weight  of 
potatoes,  and  so  on.  To  fulfil  the  requirement, 
the  quantity  must  be  increased  as  the  nutritiveness 
is  diminished.  Shall  we,  then,  respond  to  the  ex- 
tra wants  of  the  growing  child  by  giving  an  ade- 
quate quantity  of  food  as  good  as  that  of  adults  ? 


Or,  regardless  of  the  fact  that  its  stomach  has  to 
dispose  of  a  relatively  larger  quantity  even  of  this 
good  food,  shall  we  further  tax  it  by  giving  an  in- 
I'erior  food  in  still  greater  quantity? 

The  answer  is  tolerably  obvious.  The  more 
the  labour  of  digestion  can  be  ecoTiomised,  tlie 
more  energy  is  left  for  the  purposes  of  growth  and 
action.  The  functions  of  the  stomach  and  intes 
tines  cannot  be  performed  without  a  large  supply 
of  blood  and  nervous  power ;  and  in  the  compara- 
tive lassitude  that  follows  a  hearty  meal,  every 
adult  has  proof  that  this  supply  of  blood  and  nerv- 
ous power  is  at  the  expense  of  the  system  at  large. 
If  the  requisite  nutriment  is  furnished  by  a  great 
quantity  of  innutritions  food,  more  work  is  entailed 
on  the  viscera  than  when  it  is  furnished  by  a 
moderate  quantity  of  nutritious  food.  This  extra 
work  is  so  much  sheer  loss — a  loss  which  in  chil- 
dren shows  itself  either  in  diminished  energy^  or  in 
smaller  growth,  or  in  both.  The  inference  is,  then, 
that  they  should  have  a  diet  which  combines,  as 
much  as  possible,  nutritiveness  and  digestibility. 

It  is  doubtless  true  that  boys  and  girls  may  be 
brought  up  upon  an  exclusively,  or  almost  exclu- 
sively, vegetable  diet.  Among  the  upper  classes 
are  to  be  found  children  to  whom  comparatively 
little  meat  is  given;  and  who,  nevertheless,  grow 
and  appear  in  good  health.  Animal  food  is  scarce- 
ly tasted  by  the  offspring  of  labouring  people  ;  and 
yet  they  reach  a  healthy  maturity.  But  these 
Beemingly  adverse   facts   have   by   no  means   the 


weight  commonly  supposed.  In  the  first  place,  it 
does  not  follow  that  those  who  in  early  years 
flourish  on  bread  and  potatoes,  will  eventually 
reach  a  fine  development ;  and  a  comparison  be- 
tween the  agricultural  labourers  and  the  gentry,  in 
England,  or  between  the  middle  and  lower  classes 
in  France,  is  by  no  means  in  favour  of  vegetable 
feeders.  In  the  second  place,  the  question  is  not 
only  a  question  of  hulk^  but  also  a  question  of 
quality.  A  soft,  flabl)y  flesh  makes  as  good  a  show 
as  a  firm  one  ;  but  though  to  the  careless  eye,  a 
child  of  full,  flaccid  tissue  may  apj)ear  the  equal 
of  one  whose  flbres  are  well  toned,  a  trial  of 
strength  will  prove  the  difference.  Obesity  in  adults 
is  often  a  sign  of  feebleness.  Men  lose  weight  in 
training.  And  lience  the  appearance  of  these  Iom-- 
fed  children  is  by  no  means  conclusive.  In  the 
third  place,  not  only  size,  but  energy  has  to  be  con- 
sidered. Between  children  of  the  meat-eating 
classes  and  those  of  the  bread-and-potato-eating 
classes,  there  is  a  marked  contrast  in  this  respect. 
Both  in  mental  and  physical  vivacity  the  low-fed 
peasant-boy  is  greatly  inferior  to  the  better-fed  son 
of  a  gentleman. 

If  we  compare  different  classes  of  animals,  or 
diflPerent  races  of  men,  or  the  same  animals  or  men 
when  differently  fed,  we  find  still  more  distinct 
proof  that  the  degree  of  energy  essentlalhj  depends 
on  the  nutritiveness  of  the  food. 

In  a  cow,  subsisting  on  so  innutritive  a  food  as 
grass,  we  see  that  the  immense  quantity  required 


to  he  eaten  necessitates  an  enormous  digestive  sys- 
tem ;  that  the  limbs,  small  in  comparison  with  the 
body,  are  burdened  by  its  weight ;  that  in  carrying 
about  this  heavy  body  and  digesting  this  excessive 
quantity  of  food,  a  great  amount  of  force  is  ex- 
pended ;  and  tliat,  having  but  little  energy  remain- 
ing, the  creature  is  sluggish.  Compare  with  the 
cow  a  horse — an  animal  of  nearly  allied  structure, 
but  adapted  to  a  more  concentrated  food.  Here 
we  see  that  the  body,  and  more  especially  its  ab- 
dominal region,  bears  a  much  smaller  ratio  to  the 
limbs ;  that  the  powers  are  not  taxed  by  the  sup- 
port of  such  massive  viscera,  nor  the  digestion  of 
so  bulky  a  food ;  and  that,  as  a  consequence,  there 
is  great  locomotive  energy  and  considerable  vivaci- 
ty. If,  again,  we  contrast  the  stolid  inactivity  of 
the  graminivorous  sheep  with  the  liveliness  of  the 
dog,  subsisting  upon  flesh  or  farinaceous  food,  or  a 
mixture  of  the  two,  we  see  a  diflerence  similar  in 
kind,  but  still  greater  in  degree.  And  after  walk- 
ing through  the  Zoological  Gardens,  and  noting  the 
restlessness  with  which  the  carnivorous  animals 
pace  up  and  down  their  cages,  it  needs  but  to  re- 
member that  none  of  the  herbivorous  animals 
habitually  display  this  superfluous  energy,  to  see 
how  clear  is  the  relation  between  conceiitration  of 
food  and  degree  of  activity. 

That  these  diflerences  are  not  directly  consequent 
upon  diflerences  of  constitution,  as  some  may  argue ; 
but  are  directly  consequent  upon  diflerences  in  the 
food  which  the  creatures  are  constituted  to  subsist 


on ;  is  proved  by  the  fact,  that  they  are  observable 
between  different  divisions  of  the  same  species. 
Take  the  case  of  mankind.  The  Australians,  Bush- 
men, and  others  of  the  lowest  savages  who  live  on 
roots  and  berries,  varied  by  larv[e  of  insects  and 
the  like  meagre  fare,  are  comparatively  pnny  in 
stature,  have  large  abdomens,  soft  and  undeveloped 
muscles,  and  are  quite  unable  to  cope  with  Euro- 
peans, either  in  a  struggle  or  in  prolonged  exertion. 
Count  up  the  wild  races  who  are  well  grown, 
strong  and  active,  as  the  KaflSrs,  !North- American 
Indians,  and  Patagonians,  and  you  find  them  large 
consumers  of  flesh.  The  ill-fed  Hindoo  goes  down 
before  the  Englishman  fed  on  more  nutritive  food  ; 
to  whom  he  is  as  inferior  in  mental  as  in  physical 
energy.  And  generally,  we  think,  the  history  of 
the  world  shows  that  the  well-fed  races  have  been 
the  energetic  and  dominant  races. 

Still  stronger,  however,  becomes  the  argument, 
when  we  find  tliat  the  same  individual  animal  be- 
comes capable  of  more  or  less  exertion  according 
as  its  food  is  more  or  less  nutritious.  This  has 
been  clearly  demonstrated  in  the  case  of  the  horse. 
Though  flesh  may  be  gained  by  a  grazing  horse;, 
strength  is  lost;  as  putting  him  to  hard  work 
proves.  "The  consequence  of  turning  horses  out 
to  grass  is  relaxation  of  the  muscular  system." 
"  Grass  is  a  very  good  preparation  for  a  bullock  for 
Smithfield  market,  but  a  very  bad  one  for  a  hunt- 
er." It  was  well  known  of  old  that,  after  passing 
the  summer  months  in  the  fields,  hunters  required 


some  months  of  stable-feeding  before  becoming  able 
to  follow  the  hounds ;  and  that  thej  did  not  get  in- 
to good  condition  until  the  beginning  of  the  next 
spring.  And  the  modern  practice  is  that  insisted 
on  by  Mr.  Apperley — "Never  to  give  a  hunter 
what  is  called  '  a  summer's  run  at  grass,'  and,  ex- 
cept under  particular  and  very  favourable  circum- 
stances, never  to  turn  him  out  at  all."  That  is  to 
say,  never  give  him  poor  food :  great  energy  and 
endurance  are  to  be  obtained  only  by  the  continu- 
ous use  of  very  nutritive  food.  So  true  is  this  that, 
as  proved  by  Mr.  Apperley,  prolonged  high-feed- 
ing will  enable  a  middling  horse  to  equal,  in  his 
performances,  a  first-rate  horse  fed  in  the  ordinary 
way.  To  which  various  evidences  add  the  familiar 
fact  that,  when  a  horse  is  required  to  do  double 
duty,  it  is  tlie  practice  to  give  him  beans — a  food 
containing  a  larger  proportion  of  nitrogenous,  or 
flesh-making  material,  than  his  habitual  oats. 

Once  more,  in  the  case  of  individual  men  tl)c 
truth  has  been  illustrated  with  equal,  or  still  great- 
er, clearness.  We  do  not  refer  to  men  in  training 
for  feats  of  strength,  whose  regimen,  however, 
thoroughly  conforms  to  the  doctrine.  We  refer  to 
the  experience  of  railway  contractors  and  their 
labourers.  It  has  been  for  years  past  a  well-estab- 
lished fact  that  the  English  navvy,  eating  largely 
of  flesh,  is  far  more  efficient  than  a  Continental 
navvy  living  on  a  less  nutritive  food  :  so  much  more 
efficient,  that  English  contractors  for  Continental 
railways  have  habitually  taken  their  labourers  with 


tliein.  That  difference  of  diet  and  not  difference  of 
race  caused  tliis  superiority,  lias  been  of  late  dis- 
tinctly shown.  For  it  has  turned  out,  that  when 
the  Continental  navvies  live  in  the  same  style  as 
:theu'  English  competitors,  they  presently  rise,  more 
or  less  nearly,  to  a  par  with  them  in  efficiency.  To 
which  fact  let  us  here  add  the  converge  one,  to  which 
w^e  can  give  personal  testimony  based  upon  six 
months'  experience  of  vegetarianism,  that  abstinence 
from  meat  entails  diminished  energy  of  both  body 
and  mind. 

Do  not  these  various  evidences  distinctly  en- 
dorse our  argument  respecting  the  feeding  of  chil- 
dren ?  Do  they  not  imply  that,  even  supposing  the 
same  stature  and  bulk  to  be  attained  on  an  innutri- 
tive  as  on  a  nutritive  diet,  the  quality  of  tissue  is 
greatly  inferior  ?  Do  they  not  establish  the  posi- 
tion that,  where  energy  as  well  as  growth  has  to  be 
maintained,  it  can  only  be  done  by  high  feeding  ? 
Do  they  not  confirm  the  a  p7'io7'i  conclusion  that, 
though  a  child  of  whom  little  is  expected  in  the 
M'ay  of  bodily  or  mental  activity,  may  tln-ive  tolera- 
bly well  on  farinaceous  substances,  a  child  who  is 
daily  required,  not  only  to  form  the  due  amount  of 
new  tissue,  but  to  supply  the  waste  consequent  on 
great  muscular  action,  and  the  further  waste  con- 
sequent on  hard  exercise  of  brain,  must  live  on  sub- 
stances containing  a  larger  ratio  of  nutritive  matter  ? 
And  is  it  not  an  obvious  corollary,  that  denial  of 
this  better  food  will  be  at  the  expense  either  of 
growth,  or  of  bodily  activity,  or  of  mental  activity; 

children's  diet  should  bb  varied.         24:1 

as  constitution  and  circinnstances  may  determine  ? 
We  believe  no  logical  intellect  will  question  it.  To 
think  otherwise  is  to  entertain  in  a  disguised  form 
the  old  fallacy  of  the  perpetual-motion  schemers — 
that  it  is  possible  to  get  power  out  of  nothing. 

Before  leaving  the  question  of  food,  a  few  words 
must  be  said  on  another  requisite — variety.  In  this 
respect  the  dietary  of  the  young  is  very  faulty.  If 
not,  like  our  soldiers,  condemned  to  "  twenty  years 
of  boiled  beef,"  our  children  have  mostly  to  bear  a 
monotony  which,  though  less  extreme  and  less  last- 
ing, is  quite  as  clearly  at  variance  with  the  laws  of 
health.  At  dinner,  it  is  true,  they  usually  have  food 
that  is  more  or  less  mixed,  and  that  is  changed  day 
by  day.  But  week  after  week,  month  after  month, 
year  after  year,  comes  the  same  breakfast  of  bread- 
and-milk,  or,  it  may  be,  oatmeal  porridge.  And 
with  like  persistence  the  day  is  closed,  perhaps  with 
a  second  edition  of  the  bread-and-milk,  perhaps 
wnth  tea  and  bread-and-butter. 

This  practice  is  opposed  to  the  dictates  of  physi- 
ology. The  satiety  produced  by  an  often-re])eated 
dish,  and  the  gratification  caused  by  one  long  a 
stranger  to  the  palate,  are  7iot  meaningless,  as  many 
carelessly  assume  ;  but  they  are  the  incentives  to  a 
wliolesome  diversity  of  diet,  It  is  a  fact,  establish- 
ed by  numerous  experiments,  that  there  is  scarcely 
any  one  food,  however  good,  which  supplies  in  due 
proportions  or  right  forms  all  the  elements  required 
for  carrying  on  the  vital  processes  in  a  normal  man- 
ner :  from  whence  it  is  to  be  inferred  that  frequent 


change  of  food  is  desirable  to  balance  the  snpply  of 
all  the  elements.  It  is  a  further  fact,  ■well  known 
to  physiologists,  that  the  enjoyrnent  given  by  a 
much-liked  food  is  a  nervous  stimulus,  which,  by 
increasing  the  action  of  the  heart  and  so  propelling 
the  blood  with  increased  vigour,  aids  in  the  sub- 
sequent digestion.  And  these  truths  are  in  har- 
mony with  the  maxims  of  modern  cattle-feeding, 
which  dictate  a  rotation  of  diet. 

Not  only,  however,  is  periodic  change  of  food 
very  desirable  ;  but,  for  the  same  reasons,  it  is  very 
desirable  that  a  mixture  of  food  should  be  taken  at 
each  meal.  The  better  balance  of  ingredients,  and 
the  greater  nervous  stimulation,  are  advantages 
which  hold  here  as  before.  If  facts  are  asked  for, 
we  may  name  as  one,  the  comparative  ease  with 
which  the  stomach  disposes  of  a  French  dinner, 
enormous  in  quantity  but  extremely  varied  in  ma- 
terial. Few  will  contend  that  an  equal  weight  of 
one  kind  of  food,  however  well  cooked,  could  be 
digested  with  as  much  facility.  If  any  desire 
further  facts,  they  may  find  them  in  every  modern 
book  on  the  management  of  animals.  Animals 
thrive  best  when  each  meal  is  made  up  of  several 
things.  And  indeed,  among  men  of  science  the  truth 
has  been  long  ago  established.  The  experiments  of 
Goss  and  Stark  "  afford  the  most  decisive  proof  of 
the  advantage,  or  rather  the  necessity,  of  a  mixture  of 
substances,  in  order  to  produce  the  compound  which 
is  tlie  best  adapted  for  the  action  of  the  stomach."  * 

*  CyclopcEilia  of  Anatomy  and  PJnjsiology. 


Should  any  object,  as  probably  many  will,  tliat 
a  rotating  dietary  for  children,  and  one  which  also 
requires  a  mixture  of  food  at  each  meal,  would  en- 
tail too  much  trouble  ;  we  reply,  that  no  trouble  is 
thought  too  great  which  conduces  to  the  mental 
development  of  children,  and  that  for  their  future 
welfare,  good  bodily  development  is  equally  impor- 
tant. Moreover,  it  seems  alike  sad  and  strange  that 
a  trouble  which  is  cheerfully  taken  in  the  fattening 
of  pigs,  should  be  thought  too  great  in  the  rearing 
of  children. 

One  more  paragraph,  with  the  view  of  warning 
those  who  may  propose  to  adopt  the  regimen  indi- 
cated. The  change  must  not  be  made  suddenly ; 
for  continued  low-feeding  so  enfeebles  the  system, 
as  to  disable  it  from  at  once  dealing  with  a  high 
diet.  Deficient  nutrition  is  itself  a  cause  of  dyspep- 
sia. This  is  true  even  of  animals.  "When  calves 
are  fed  wntli  skimmed  milk,  or  whey,  or  other  poor 
food,  they  are  liable  to  indigestion."  *  Hence, 
therefore,  where  the  energies  are  low,  the  transition 
to  a  generous  diet  must  be  gradual :  each  incre- 
ment of  strength  gained,  justifying  a  further  increase 
of  nutriment.  Further,  it  should  always  be  borne 
in  mind  that  the  concentration,  of  nutriment  may 
be  carried  too  far.  A  bulk  sufficient  to  fill  the 
stomach  is  one  requisite  of  a  proper  meal ;  and  this 
requisite  negatives  a  diet  deficient  in  those  waste 
matters  which  give  adequate  mass.  Though  the 
size  of  the  digestive  organs  is  less  in  the  well-fed 

*  Morton's  Cyclopcedia  of  Agricullure. 

244-  PHY.SIC.\L    EDUCATIOJ^. 

civilized  races  than  in  the  ill-fed  savage  ones  ;  and, 
though  their  size  may  eventually  diminish  stiil 
further ;  yet,  for  the  time  heing,  the  bulk  of  the  in- 
gesta  must  be  determined  by  the  existing  capacity. 
But,  paying  due  regard  to  these  two  qualifications 
our  conclusions  are — that  the  food  of  children 
should  be  highly  nutritive  ;  that  it  should  be  varied 
at  each  meal  and  at  successive  meals  ;  and  that  it 
should  be  abundant. 

With  clothing  as  with  food,  the  established  ten- 
dency is  towards  an  improper  scantiness.  Here, 
too,  asceticism  peeps  out.  There  is  a  current  theory, 
vaguely  entertained,  if  not  put  into  a  definite 
formula,  that  the  sensations  are  to  be  disregard- 
ed. They  do  not  exist  for  our  guidance,  but  to 
mislead  us,  seems  to  be  the  prevalent  belief  reduced 
to  its  naked  form.  It  is  a  grave  error :  we  are 
much  more  beneficently  constituted.  It  is  not 
obedience  to  the  sensations,  but  disobedience  to 
them,  which  is  the  habitual  cause  of  bodily  evils- 
It  is  not  the  eating  when  hungry,  but  the  eating  in 
the  absence  of  appetite,  which  is  bad.  It  is  not  the 
drinking  when  thirsty,  but  the  continuing  to  drink 
when  thirst  has  ceased,  that  is  the  vice.  Harm  re- 
sults not  from  breathing  that  fresh  air  which  every 
healthy  person  enjoys ;  but  from  continuing  to 
breathe  foul  air,  spite  of  the  protest  of  the  lungs. 
Harm  results  not  from  taking  that  active  exercise 
which,  as  every  child  shows  us,  nature  strongly 
prompts  ;  but  from  a  persistent  disregard  of  nature's 


promptings.  Not  that  mental  activ'itj  wliich  is 
spontaneous  and  enjoyable  does  the  mischief;  but 
that  which  is  persevered  in  after  a  hot  or  acliiiig 
head  commands  desistance.  IS^ot  that  bodily  exer- 
tion which  is  pleasant  or  indiiferent,  does  injiirv  ; 
but  that  which  is  continued  wlien  exhaustion  forbids. 
It  is  true  that,  in  those  who  have  long  led  unhealtliy 
lives,  the  sensations  are  not  trustworthy  guides. 
People  who  have  for  years  been  almost  constant- 
ly in-doors,  who  have  exercised  their  brains  very 
much,  and  their  bodies  scarcely  at  all,  who  in  eating 
have  obeyed  their  clocks  without  consulting  their 
stomachs,  may  very  likely  be  misled  by  their 
vitiated  feelings.  But  their  abnormal  state  is  itself 
the  result  of  transgressing  their  feelings.  Had  they 
from  childhood  up  never  disobeyed  what  we  may 
term  the  physical  conscience,  it  would  not  have  been 
seared,  but  would  have  remained  a  faithful  monitor. 
Among  the  sensations  serving  for  our  gui(!aiico 
are  those  of  heat  and  cold;  and  a  clothing  for  chil- 
dren which  does  not  carefully  consult  these  sensa- 
tions is  to  be  condemned.  The  common  notion 
about  "hardening"  is  a  grievous  delusion.  Chil- 
dren are  not  unfrequently  "  hardened  "  out  of  the 
world  ;  and  those  M'ho  survive,  permanently  sulfer 
either  in  growth  or  constitution.  "  Their  delicate 
appearance  furnishes  ample  indication  of  the  mis- 
chief thus  produced,  and  their  frequent  attacks  of 
illness'might  prove  a  warning  even  to  unreflecting 
parents,"  says  Dr.  Combe.  The  reasoning  on  which 
this  hardening  theory  rests  is  extremely  superficial. 


Wealthy  parents,  seeing  little  peasant  boys  and 
girls  playing  about  in  the  open  air  only  half-clothed, 
and  joining  with  this  fact  the  general  healthiness  of 
labouring  people,  draw  the  unwarrantable  conclu- 
sion that  the  healthiness  is  the  result  of  the  expo= 
sure,  and  resolve  to  keep  their  own  offspring  scan- 
tily covered!  It  is  forgotten  that  these  urchins 
who  gambol  upon  village-greens  are  in  many  re- 
spects favourably  circumstanced — that  their  days 
are  spent  in  almost  perpetual  play  ;  that  they  are 
always  breathing  fresh  air ;  and  that  their  systems 
are  not  disturbed  by  over-taxed  brains.  For  aught 
that  appears  to  the  contrary,  their  good  health  may 
be  maintained,  not  in  consequence  of,  but  in  spite 
of,  their  deficient  clothing.  This  alternative  con- 
clusion we  believe  to  be  the  true  one ;  and  that  an 
inevitable  detriment  results  from  the  needless  loss 
of  animal  heat  to  which  they  are  subject. 

For  when,  the  constitution  being  sound  enough 
to  bear  it,  exposure  does  produce  hardness,  it  does 
so  at  the  expense  of  growth.  This  truth  is  display- 
ed alike  in  animals  and  in  man.  The  Shetland 
pony  bears  greater  inclemencies  than  the  horses  of 
the  south,  but  is  dwarfed.  Highland  sheep  and 
cattle,  living  in  a  colder  climate,  are  stunted  in 
comparison  with  English  breeds.  In  both  the  arc- 
tic and  antarctic  regions  the  human  race  falls 
much  below  its  ordinary  height:  the  Laphmder 
and  Esquimaux  are  very  short ;  and  the  TeiTa  del 
Fuegians,  who  go  naked  in  a  cold  latitude,  are  de- 
ecribcd  by  Darwin  as  so  stunted  and  hideous,  that 

rEOlECnON    FKOM   COLD.  247 

*'  one  can  hardly  make  one's  self  believe  they  are 

Science  clearly  explains  this  dwarfishness  pro- 
duced by  great  abstraction  of  heat :  showing  that, 
food  and  other  things  being  equal,  it  unavoidably 
results.  For,  as  before  pointed  out,  to  make  up  for 
that  cooling  by  radiation  which  the  body  is  con- 
stantly undergoing,  there  must  be  a  constant  oxida- 
tion of  certain  matters  which  form  part  of  the  food. 
And  in  proportion  as  the  thermal  loss  is  great,  must 
the  quantity  of  these  matters  required  for  oxidation 
be  great.  But  the  power  of  the  digestive  organs  is 
limited.  Hence  it  follows,  that  when  they  have  to 
prepare  a  large  quantity  of  this  material  needful 
for  maintaining  the  temperature,  they  can  prepare 
but  a  small  quantity  of  the  material  which  goes  to 
build  up  the  frame.  Excessive  expenditure  for  fuel 
entails  diminished  means  for  other  purposes  :  where- 
fore there  necessarily  results  a  body  small  in  size, 
or  inferior  in  texture,  or  both. 

Hence  the  great  importance  of  clothing.  As 
Liebig  says : — "  Our  clothing  is,  in  reference  to  the 
temperature  of  the  body,  merely  an  equivalent  for 
a  certain  amount  of  food."  By  diminishing  the 
loss  of  heat,  it  diminishes  the  amount  of  fuel  need- 
ful for  maintaining  the  heat ;  and  when  the  stom- 
ach has  less  to  do  in  preparing  fuel,  it  can  do  more 
in  preparing  other  materials.  This  deduction  is 
entirely  confirmed  by  the  experience  of  those  who 
manage  animals.  Cold  can  be  borne  by  animals 
only  at  an  expense  of  fat,  or  muscle,  or  growth,  as 


the  case  may  be.  "  If  fattening  cattle  are  exposed 
to  a  low  temperature,  either  their  progress  must  be 
retarded,  or  a  great  additional  expenditure  of  food 
incurred."  *  Mr.  Apperley  insists  strongly  that,  to 
bring  hunters  into  good  condition,  it  is  necessary 
that  the  stable  should  be  kept  warm.  And  among 
those  who  rear  racers,  it  is  an  established  doctrine 
that  exposure  is  to  be  avoided. 

The  scientific  truth  thus  illustrated  by  ethnolo-> 
gy.  and  recognised  by  agriculturists  and  sportsmen, 
applies  with  double  force  to  children.  In  propor- 
tion to  their  smallness  and  the  rapidity  of  their 
growth  is  the  injury  from  cold  great.  In  France, 
new-born  infants  often  die  in  winter  from  being 
carried  to  the  office  of  the  maire  for  registration. 
"M.  Quetelet  has  pointed  out,  that  in  Belgium  two 
infants  die  in  January  for  one  that  dies  in  July." 
And  in  Russia  the  infavit  mortality  is  something 
enormous.  Even  when  near  maturity,  the  unde- 
veloped frame  is  comparatively  unable  to  bear  ex- 
posure :  as  witness  the  quickness  with  Avhich 
voung  soldiers  succumb  in  a  trvino^  campaii^n. 
The  rationale  is  obvious.  We  have  already  ad- 
verted to  the  fact  that,  in  consequence  of  the  vary- 
ing relation  between  surface  and  bulk,  a  child  loses 
a  relatively  larger  amount  of  heat  than  an  adult; 
and  here  we  must  point  out  that  the  disadvantage 
under  which  the  child  thus  labours  is  verj-  great. 
Lehmann  says  : — "  If  the  carbonic  acid  excreted  by 
children  or  young  animals  is  calculated  for  an 
*  Morton's  Cydojxzdia  of  Agriculture. 


equal  bodily  weight,  it  results  tliat  children  pro- 
duce nearly  twice  as  much  acid  as  adults."  Now 
the  quantity  of  carbonic  acid  given  off  varies  with 
tolerable  accuracy  as  the  quantity  of  heat  j^roduced. 
And  thus  we  see  that  in  chiklren  the  system,  even 
when  not  placed  at  a  disadvantage,  is  called  upon 
to  provide  nearly  double  the  proportion  of  material 
for  generating  heat. 

See,  then,  the  extreme  folly  of  clothing  the 
young  scantily.  What  father,  full-grown  though 
he  is,  losing  heat  less  rapidly  as  he  does,  and  hav- 
ing no  physiological  necessity  but  to  supply  the 
waste  of  each  day — what  father,  we  ask,  would 
think  it  salutary  to  go  about  with  bare  legs,  bare 
arms,  and  bare  neck?  Yet  this  tax  upon  the  S3"S- 
tem,  from  which  he  would  shrink,  lie  inflicts  upon 
his  little  ones,  who  are  so  much  less  able  to  bear 
it!  or,  if  he  does  not  inflict  it,  sees  it  inflicted  with- 
out protest.  Let  him  remember  that  every  ounce 
of  nutriment  needlessly  expended  for  the  mainte- 
nance of  temperature,  is  so  much  deducted  from 
the  nutriment  going  to  build  up  the  frame  and 
maintain  the  energies ;  and  that  even  when  colds, 
congestions,  or  other  consequent  disorders  are 
escaped,  diminished  growth  or  less  perfect  struc- 
ture is  inevitable. 

"  The  rule  is,  therefore,  not  to  dress  in  an  inva- 
riable way  in  all  cases,  but  to  put  on  clothing  in 
kind  and  quantity  sufficient  in  the  individual  case 
to  protect  the  hod y  effectually  from  an  abiding  sensa- 
tion of  cold,  however  slight^     This  rule,  the  impor- 


tance  of  which  Dr.  Combe  indicates  by  the  italics, 
is  one  in  wliich  men  of  science  and  practitioners 
agree.  We  have  met  with  none  competent  to  form 
a  judgment  on  the  matter,  who  do  not  strongly  con- 
demn the  exposure  of  children's  limbs.  If  there  is 
one  point  above  otliers  in  which  "pestilent  custom" 
should  be  ignored,  it  is  this. 

Lamentable,  indeed,  is  it  to  see  mothers  serious- 
\y  damaging  the  constitutions  of  their  children  out 
of  compliance  with  an  irrational  fasliion.  It  is  bad 
enough  that  they  should  themselves  conform  to 
every  folly  which  our  Gallic  neighbours  please  to 
initiate ;  but  that  they  should  clothe  their  children 
in  any  mountebank  dress  which  Z,e  petit  Courtlier 
des  Dames  indicates,  regardless  of  its  insufficiency 
and  nnfitness,  is  monstrous.  Discomfort,  more  or 
less  great,  is  inflicted ;  freqnent  disorders  are  en- 
tailed ;  growth  is  checked  or  stamina  undermined  ; 
premature  death  not  uncommonly  caused ;  and  all 
because  it  is  thought  needful  to  make  frocks  of  a 
size  and  material  dictated  by  French  caprice.  Not 
only  is  it  that  for  the  sake  of  conformity,  mothers 
thus  punish  and  injure  their  little  ones  by  scanti- 
ness of  covering;  but  it  is  that  from  an  allied 
motive  they  impose  a  style  of  dress  which  forbids 
healthful  activity.  To  please  the  eye,  colours  and 
fabrics  are  chosen  totally  unfit  to  bear  that  rough 
usage  which  unrestrained  play  involves;  and  then 
to  prevent  damage  the  unrestrained  play  is  inter- 
dicted. "Get  up  this  moment:  you  will  soil  your 
clean  frock,"  is  the  mandate  issued  to  some  urchin 


creeping  about  on  the  floor.  "  Come  back :  you 
will  dirty  your  stockings,"  calls  out  the  governess 
to  one  of  her  charges,  who  has  left  the  footpath  to 
scramble  up  a  bank.  Thus  is  the  evil  doubled. 
That  they  may  come  up  to  their  mamma's  stand- 
ard of  prettiness,  and  be  admired  by  her  visitors, 
children  must  have  habiliments  deficient  in  quanti- 
ty and  unfit  in  texture ;  and  tliat  these  easily- 
damaged  habiliments  may  be  kept  clean  and  unin- 
jured, the  i-estless  activity,  so  natural  and  needful 
for  the  young,  is  more  or  less  restrained.  The  ex- 
ercise which  becomes  doubly  requisite  when  the 
clothing  is  insnfiScient,  is  cut  short,  lest  it  should 
deface  the  clothinor.  Would  that  the  terrible  cruel- 
ty  of  this  system  could  be  seen  by  those  who  main- 
tain it.  We  do  not  hesitate  to  say  that,  through 
enfeebled  health,  defective  energies,  and  conse- 
quent non-success  in  life,  thousands  are  annually 
doomed  to  unhappiness  by  this  unscrupulous  regard 
for  appearances :  even  when  they  are  not,  by  early 
death,  literally  sacrificed  to  the  Moloch  of  maternal 
vanity.  We  are  reluctant  to  counsel  strong  meas- 
ures, but  really  the  evils  are  so  great  as  to  justif}-, 
or  even  to  demand,  a  peremptory  interference  on 
the  part  of  fothers. 

Our  conclusions  are,  then — that,  while  the  cloth- 
ing of  children  should  never  be  in  such  excess  as 
to  create  oppressive  warmth,  it  should  always  be 
sufiicient  to  prevent  any  general  feeling  of  cold  ;  "^ 

*  It  is  needful  to  remark  that   children  whose  legs  and  arms 
hare  been  from  the  beginning  habitually  without  covering,  cease  to 


tliat,  instead  of  the  flimsy  cotton,  linen,  or  mixed 
fabrics  commonly  used,  it  should  be  made  of  some 
cjood  non-conductor,  such  as  coarse  woollen  cloth  ; 
that  it  should  be  so  strong  as  to  receive  little  dam- 
age from  the  hard  wear  and  tear  which  childish 
sports  will  give  it ;  and  that  its  colours  should  be 
such  as  will  not  soon  suffer  from  use  and  exposure. 

To  the  importance  of  bodily  exercise  most  peo- 
ple are  in  some  degree  awake.  Perhaps  less  needs 
saying  on  this  requisite  of  physical  education  than 
on  most  others :  at  any  rate,  in  so  far  as  boys  are 
concerned.  Public  schools  and  private  schools 
alike  furnish  tolerably  adequate  playgrounds  ;  and 
tliere  is  usually  a  fair  share  of  time  for  out-of-door 
games,  and  a  recognition  of  them  as  needful.  In 
this,  if  in  no  other  direction,  it  seems  admitted  that 
the  natural  promptings  of  boyish  instinct  may  ad- 
vantageously be  followed ;  and,  indeed,  in  the 
modern  practice  of  breaking  the  prolonged  morning 
and  afternoon's  lessons  by  a  few  minutes'  open-air 
recreation,  we  see  an  increasing  tendency  to  con- 
form school  regulations  to  the  bodily  sensations  of 
the  i^upils.  Here,  then,  little  needs  to  be  said  in 
the  way  of  expostulation  or  suggestion. 

be  conscious  that  the  exposed  surfaces  are  cold  ;  just  as  by  use  we 
liave  all  ceased  to  be  conscious  that  our  faces  are  cold,  even  when 
out  of  doors.  But  though  in  such  children  the  sensations  no  longer 
protest,  it  does  not  follow  that  the  system  escapes  injury;  anymore 
than  it  follows  that  the  Fuegian  is  undamaged  by  exposure,  because 
he  bears  with  indiftcrcncc  the  melting  of  the  falling  snow  on  his 
naked  body. 


But  we  have  been  obliged  to  qualify  this  ad- 
mission  by  inserting  the  clause  "  in  so  far  as  boys 
are  concerned."  Unfortunately,  the  fact  is  quite 
otherwise  in  the  case  of  girls.  It  chances,  some- 
what strangely,  that  we  have  daily  opportunity  of 
drawing  a  comparison.  We  have  both  a  boy's  and 
a  girl's  school  within  view ;  and  the  contrast  be- 
tween them  is  remarkable.  In  the  one  case,  nearly 
the  whole  of  a  large  garden  is  turned  into  an  open, 
gravelled  space,  atfording  ample  scope  for  games, 
and  supplied  with  j)oles  and  horizontal  bars  for 
gj^mnastic  exercises.  Every  day  before  breakfast, 
again  towards  eleven  o'clock,  again  at  mid-day, 
again  in  the  afternoon,  and  once  more  after  school 
is  over,  the  neighbourhood  is  awakened  by  a  chorus 
of  shouts  and  laughter  as  the  boys  rush  out  to  play ; 
and  for  as  long  as  they  remain,  both  eyes  and  ears 
give  proof  that  they  are  absorbed  in  that  enjoyable 
activity  which  makes  the  pulse  bound  and  ensures 
the  healthful  activity  of  every  organ.  How  unlike 
is  the  picture  offered  by  the  "Establishment  for 
Young  Ladies"!  Until  the  fact  was  pointed  out, 
we  actually  did  not  know  that  we  had  a  girPs 
school  as  close  to  us  as  the  school  for  boys.  The 
garden,  equally  large  with  the  other,  affords  no 
sign  wliatever  of  any  provision  for  juvenile  recrea- 
tion; but  is  entirely  laid  out  with  prim  grassplots, 
gravel-walks,  shrubs,  and  flowers,  after  the  usual 
suburban  style.  During  five  months  we  have  not 
once  had  our  attention  drawn  to  th.e  premises  by  a 
shout  or  a  laugh.     Occasionally  girls  may  be  ob' 


served  sauntering  along  the  jjatlis  Avitli  their  lesson- 
books  in  their  hands,  or  else  walking  arm-in-arm. 
Once,  indeed,  we  saw  one  chase  another  round  the 
garden ;  but,  with  this  exception,  nothing  like 
vigorous  exertion  has  been  visible. 

Why  this  astonishing  difference  ?  Is  it  that  the 
constitution  of  a  girl  differs  so  entirely  from  that 
of  a  boy  as  not  to  need  these  active  exercises?  Is 
it  that  a  girl  has  none  of  the  promptings  to  vocifer- 
ous play  by  which  boys  are  impelled  ?  Or  is  it 
that,  while  in  boys  these  promptings  are  to  be  re- 
garded as  securing  that  bodily  activity  without 
which  there  cannot  be  adequate  development,  to 
their  sisters  nature  has  given  them  for  no  purpose 
whatever — unless  it  be  for  the  vexation  of  school- 
mistresses ?  Perhaps,  however,  we  mistake  the 
aim  of  those  who  train  the  gentler  sex.  We  have 
a  vague  suspicion  that  to  produce  a  rohus,tj)/ii/sique 
is  thought  undesirable  ;  that  rude  health  and 
abundant  vigour  are  considered  somewhat  plebe- 
ian ;  that  a  certain  delicacy,  a  strength  not  compe- 
tent to  more  than  a  mile  or  two's  walk,  an  appetite 
fastidious  and  easily  satisfied,  joined  with  that  ti- 
midity which  commonly  accompanies  feebleness, 
are  held  more  lady-like.  We  do  not  expect  that 
any  would  distinctly  avow  this ;  but  we  fancy  the 
governess-mind  is  haunted  by  an  ideal  young  lady 
bearing  not  a  little  resemblance  to  this  type.  If 
60,  it  must  be  admitted  that  the  established  system 
is  admirabl}^  calculated  to  realize  this  ideal.  But 
to  suppose  that  such  is  the  ideal  of  the  opposite 


eex  is  a  profound  mistake.  That  men  are  not  com- 
monly  drawn  towards  masculine  women,  is  doubt- 
less true.  That  such  relative  weakness  as  calls  for 
the  protection  of  superior  strength  is  an  element 
of  attraction,  we  quite  admit.  But  the  difierence 
to  whicli  the  feelings  thus  respond  is  the  natural, 
pre-established  difference,  which  will  assert  itself 
without  artificial  appliances.  And  when,  by  artifi- 
cial appliances,  the  degree  of  this  diflierence  is  in- 
creased, it  becomes  an  element  of  repulsion  rather 
than  attraction. 

"  Then  girls  should  be  allowed  to  run  wild — to 
become  as  rude  as  boys,  and  grow  up  into  romps 
and  hoydens  ! "  exclaims  some  defender  of  the  pro- 
prieties. This,  we  presume,  is  the  ever-present 
dread  of  schoolmistresses.  It  appears,  on  inquiry, 
that  at  "  Establishments  for  Young  Ladies  "  noisy 
play  like  that  daily  indulged  in  by  boys,  is  a  punish- 
able offence ;  and  it  is  to  be  inferred  that  this  noisy 
play  is  forbidden,  lest  unlady-like  habits  should 
be  formed.  The  fear  is  quite  groundless,  however- 
For  if  the  sportive  activity  allowed  to  boys  docs 
not  prevent  them  from  growing  up  into  gentlemen  ; 
why  should  a  like  sportive  activity  allowed  to 
girls  prevent  them  from  growing  up  into  ladies  ? 
Rough  as  may  have  been  their  accustomed  play- 
ground frolics,  youtlis  who  have  left  school  do  not 
indulge  in  leapfrog  in  the  street,  or  marbles  in  tlie 
drawing-room.  Abandoning  their  jackets,  they 
abandon  at  the  same  time  boyish  games  ;  and  dis- 
play  an   anxiety — often   a   ludicrous    anxiety — to 



avoid  whatever  is  not  manly.  If  now,  on  arriving 
at  the  due  age,  this  feeling  of  masculine  dignity 
puts  so  efficient  a  restraint  on  the  romping  sports 
of  boyhood,  will  not  the  feeling  of  feminine  mod- 
esty, gradually  strengthening  as  maturity  is  ap- 
proached, 23iit  an  efficient  restraint  on  the  like 
sports  of  girlhood  ?  Have  not  Avomen  even  a 
greater  regard  for  appearances  than  men  ?  and  will 
there  not  consequently  arise  in  them  even  a  stronger 
check  to  M'hatever  is  rough  or  boisterous  ?  How 
absurd  is  the  supposition  that  the  womanly  in- 
stincts would  not  assert  themselves  but  for  the  rig- 
orous discipline  of  schoolmistresses ! 

In  this,  as  in  other  cases,  to  remedy  the  evils  of 
one  artificiality,  another  artificiality  has  been  intro- 
duced. The  natural  spontaneous  exercise  having 
been  forbidden,  and  the  bad  consequences  of  no 
exercise  having  become  conspicuous,  there  has 
been  adopted  a  system  of  factitious  exercise — gym- 
nastics. That  this  is  better  than  nothing  we  ad- 
mit ;  but  that  it  is  an  adequate  substitute  for  play 
we  deny.  The  defects  are  both  positive  and  nega- 
tive. In  the  first  place,  these  formal,  muscular 
motions,  necessarily  much  less  varied  than  those 
accompanying  juvenile  sports,  do  not  secure  so 
equable  a  distribution  of  action  to  all  parts  of  the 
body  ;  whence  it  results  that  the  exertion,  falling 
on  special  parts,  produces  fatigue  sooner-  than  it 
would  else  have  done  :  add  to  which,  that,  if  con- 
stantly repeated,  this  exertion  of  special  parts  leads 
to   a   disproportionate   development.      Again,  the 


quantity  of  exercise  thus  taken  will  be  deficient, 
not  only  in  consequence  of  uneven  distribution,  but 
it  will  be  further  deficient  in  consequence  of  lack 
of  interest.  Even  when  not  made  repulsive,  aa 
they  sometimes  are,  by  assuming  the  shape  of  ap- 
pointed lessons,  these  monotonous  movements  are 
sure  to  become  wearisome,  from  the  absence  of 
amusement.  Competition,  it  is  true,  serves  as  a 
stimulus  ;  but  it  is  not  a  lasting  stimulus,  like  that 
enjoyment  w4iich  accompanies  varied  play.  Not 
only,  however,  are  gymnastics  inferior  in  respect 
of  the  quantity  of  muscular  exertion  which  they 
secure  ;  they  are  still  more  inferior  in  respect  of 
the  quality.  This  comparative  want  of  enjoyment 
to  which  we  have  just  referred  as  a  cause  of  early 
desistance  from  artificial  exercises,  is  also  a  cause 
of  inferiority  in  the  effects  they  produce  on  the 
system.  The  common  assumption  that  so  long  as 
the  amount  of  bodily  action  is  the  same,  it  matters 
not  whether  it  be  pleasurable  or  otherwise,  is  a 
grave  mistake.  An  agreeable  mental  excitement 
has  a  highly  invigorating  influence.  See  the  ef- 
fect produced  upon  an  invalid  by  good  news,  or  by 
the  visit  of  an  old  friend.  Mark  how  careful  med- 
ical men  are  to  recommend  lively  society  to  debili- 
tated patients.  Remember  how  beneficial  to  the 
health  is  the  gratification  produced  by  change  of 
scene.  The  truth  is  that  happiness  is  the  most 
powerful  of  tonics.  By  accelerating  the  circulation 
of  the  blood,  it  facilitates  the  performance  of  every 
function  i   and  so  tends  alike    to    increase  health 


M'lien  it  exists,  and  to  restore  it  when  it  has  been 
lost.  Hence  the  essential  superiority  of  play  to 
gymnastics.  The  extreme  interest  felt  by  children 
in  their  games,  and  the  riotous  glee  with  wliich 
they  carry  on  their  rougher  frolics,  are  of  as  much 
importance  as  the  accompanying  exertion.  And 
as  not  supplying  these  mental  stimuli,  gymnastics 
must  be  fundamentally  defective. 

Granting  then,  as  we  do,  that  formal  exercises 
of  the  limbs  are  better  than  nothing — granting, 
further,  that  they  may  be  used  with  advantage  as 
supplementary  aids ;  we  yet  contend  that  such 
formal  exercises  can  never  supjjly  the  place  of  the 
exercises  prompted  b}'  nature.  For  girls,  as  well 
as  boys,  the  sportive  activities  to  which  the  in- 
stincts impel,  are  essential  to  bodily  welfare. 
Whoever  forbids  them,  forbids  the  divinely-ap- 
pointed means  to  pliysical  development. 

A  topic  still  remains — one  perhaps  more  ur- 
gently demanding  consideration  than  any  of  the 
foregoing.  It  is  asserted  by  not  a  few,  that  among 
the  educated  classes  the  younger  adults  and  tliose 
who  are  verging  upon  maturity  are,  on  the  avei'- 
age,  neither  so  well  grown  nor  so  strong  as  their 
seniors.  When  first  m'c  lieard  this  assertion,  we 
were  inclined  to  disregard  it  as  one  of  the  many 
manifestations  of  the  old  tendency  to  exalt  the  past 
at  the  expense  of  the  present.  Calling  to  mind  the 
facts  that,  as  measured  by  ancient  armour,  modern 
men  are  proved  to  be  larger  than  ancient  men,  and 


tliat  the  tables  of  mortality  show  no  diminution, 
but  rather  an  increase  In  the  duration  of  life,  we 
paid  little  attention  to  what  seemed  a  groundless 
belief.  Detailed  observation,  however,  has  greatly 
shaken  our  opinion.  Omitting  from  the  compari- 
son the  labouring  classes,  we  have  noticed  a  niajor- 
ify  of  cases  in  which  the  cliildren  do  not  reach  the 
stature  of  their  parents ;  and,  in  massiveness,  mak- 
ing due  allowance  for  difference  of  age,  there  seems 
a  like  inferioriiy.  In  health,  the  contrast  appears 
still  greater.  Met;  of  past  generations,  living  riot- 
ously as  they  did,  could  bear  much  more  than  men 
of  the  present  generation,  who  live  soberly,  can 
bear.  Though  they  drank  hard,  kept  irregular 
hours,  were  regardless  of  fresh  air,  and  tiiought  lit- 
tle of  cleanliness,  our  recent  ancestors  were  capa- 
ble of  jjrolonged  application  without  injury,  even 
to  a  ripe  old  age  :  witness  the  annals  of  the  bench 
and  the  bar.  Yet  we  who  think  much  about  our 
bodily  welfare  ;  who  eat  with  moderation,  and  do 
not  drink  to  excess  ;  who  attend  to  ventilation,  and 
use  frequent  ablutions  ;  who  make  annual  excur- 
sions, and  have  the  benefit  of  greater  medical 
knowledge  ; — we  are  continually  breaking  down 
under  our  work.  Paying  considerable  attention  to 
the  laws  of  health,  we  seem  to  be  weaker  than 
our  grandfathers  who,  in  many  respects,  defied  tlie 
laws  of  health.  And,  judging  from  the  appear- 
ance and  frequent  ailments  of  the  rising  generation, 
they  are  likely  to  be  even  less  robust  than  our- 


What  is  the  meaning  of  this  ?  Is  it  that  past 
over-feeding,  aHke  of  adults  and  juveniles,  was  less 
injurious  than  the  under-feeding  to  which  we  have 
adverted  as  now  so  general  ?  Is  it  that  the  defi- 
cient clothing  which  this  delusive  hardening  theory 
has  encouraged,  is  to  blame  ?  Is  it  that  the  greater 
or  less  discouragement  of  juvenile  sports,  in  defer- 
ence to  a  false  refinement,  is  the  cause  ?  From  our 
reasonings  it  may  be  inferred  that  each  of  these 
has  probably"  had  a  share  in  producing  the  evil. 
But  there  has  been  yet  another  detrimental  in- 
fluence at  work,  perhaps  more  potent  than  any  of 
the  others  :  we  mean — excess  of  mental  applica- 

On  old  and  young,  the  pressure  of  modern  life 
puts  a  still-increasing  strain.  In  all  businesses  and 
professions,  intenser  competition  taxes  the  energies 
and  abilities  of  every  adult ;  and,  with  the  view  of 
better  fitting  the  young  to  hold  their  place  under 
this  intenser  competition,  they  are  subject  to  a  more 
severe  discipline  than  heretofore.  The  damage  is 
thus  doubled.  Fathers,  who  find  not  only  that  they 
are  run  hard  by  their  multiplying  competitors,  but 
that,  while  labouring  under  this  disadvantage,  they 
have  to  maintain  a  more  expensive  style  of  living, 
are  all  the  year  round  obliged  to  work  early  and 
late,  taking  little  exercise  and  getting  but  short 
holidays.  The  constitutions,  shaken  by  this  long 
continued  over-application,  tlie}^  bequeath  to  their 
children.  And  then  these  comparativelj"  feeble 
children,  predisposed  as  they  are  to  break  down 


even  under  an  ordinaiy  strain  upon  their  energies, 
are  required  to  go  through  a  curriculum  much 
more  extended  than  that  prescribed  for  the  unen- 
feebled  children  of  past  generations. 

That  disastrous  consequences  must  result  from 
this  cumulative  transgression  might  be  predicted 
with  certainty ;  and  that  they  do  result,  every  ob- 
servant person  knows.  Go  where  yon  will,  and 
before  long  there  come  under  your  notice  cases  of 
children,  or  youths,  of  either  sex,  more  or  less  in- 
jured by  undue  study.  Here,  to  recover  from  a 
state  of  debility  thus  produced,  a  year's  rustica- 
tion has  been  found  necessary.  Tliere  yon  find  a 
chronic  congestion  of  the  brain,  that  has  already 
lasted  many  months,  and  threatens  to  last  much 
longer.  Now  you  hear  of  a  fever  that  resulted  from 
the  over-excitement  in  some  way  brought  on  at 
school.  And,  again,  the  instance  is  that  of  a  youth 
who  has  already  had  once  to  desist  fromhis  studies, 
and  who,  since  he  has  returned  to  them,  is  frequent- 
ly taken  out  of  his  class  in  a  fainting  fit.  We  state 
facts — facts  that  have  not  been  sought  for,  but  have 
been  thrust  upon  our  observation  during  the  last 
two  years  :  and  that,  too,  within  a  very  limited 
range.  Nor  have  M-e  by  any  means  exhausted  the 
list.  Quite  recently  we  had  the  opportunity  of 
marking  how  the  evil  becomes  hereditary  :  the  case 
being  that  of  a  lady  of  robust  parentage,  whose  sys- 
tem was  so  injured  by  the  regime  of  a  Scotch  board- 
ino:-school,  where  she  was  under-fed  and  over-work- 


etl,  that  she  invariably  suffers  from  vertigo  on  rising 
in  the  morning;  and  whose  children,  inheriting  this 
enfeebled  brain,  are  several  of  them  nnable  to  bear 
even  a  moderate  amount  of  study  without  headache 
or  giddiness.  At  the  present  time  we  have  daily 
under  our  eyes,  a  young  lady  whose  system  has 
been  damaged  for  life  by  the  college-course  tlii'ough 
which  she  has  passed.  Taxed  as  she  was  to  such 
an  extent  that  she  had  no  energy  left  for  exercise, 
she  is,  now  that  she  has  finished  her  education,  a 
constant  complainant.  Appetite  small  and  very 
capricious,  mostly  refusing  meat ;  extremities  per- 
petually cold,  even  when  the  weather  is  warm  ;  a 
feebleness  which  forbids  anything  but  the  slowest 
walking,  and  that  only  for  a  short  time  ;  palpitation 
on  going  up  stairs  ;  greatly  impaired  vision — these, 
joined  with  checked  growth  and  lax  tissue,  are 
among  the  results  entailed.  And  to  her  case  we 
may  add  that  of  her  friend  and  fellow-student ;  who 
is  similarly  w-eak  ;  who  is  liable  to  faint  even  under 
the  excitement  of  a  quiet  party  of  friends  ;  and  who 
has  at  length  been  obliged  by  her  medical  attend- 
ant to  desist  from  study  entirely. 

If  injuries  so  conspicuous  are  thus  frequent,  how 
very  general  must  be  the  smaller  and  inconspicu- 
ous injuries.  To  one  case  w^here  positive  illness  is 
directly  traceable  to  over-application,  there  are 
probably  at  least  half-a-dozen  cases  where  the  evil 
is  unobtrusive  and  slowly  accumulating  —  cases 
where  there  is  frequent  derangement  of  the  func- 


tions,  attributed  to  this  or  that  special  cause,  or  to 
constitutional  delicacy  ;  cases  where  there  is  retar- 
dation and  premature  arrest  of  bodily  growth ; 
cases  where  a  latent  tendency  to  consumption  is 
brought  out  and  established ;  cases  where  a  predis- 
position is  given  to  that  now  common  cerebral  dis- 
order brought  on  by  the  hard  work  of  adult  life. 
How  commonly  constitutions  are  thus  undermined, 
will  be  clear  to  all  who,  after  noting  the  frequent 
ailments  of  hard-worked  professional  and  mercantile 
men,  will  reflect  on  the  disastrous  effects  which 
undue  application  must  produce  upon  the  unde- 
veloped systems  of  the  young.  The  young  are  com- 
petent to  bear  neither  as  much  hardship,  nor  as 
much  physical  exertion,  nor  as  much  mental  exer- 
tion, as  the  full  grown.  Judge,  then,  if  the  full 
grown  so  manifestly  suffer  from  the  excessive  mental 
exertion  required  of  them,  how  great  must  be  the 
damage  wliich  a  mental  exertion,  often  equally  ex- 
cessive, inflicts  upon  the  young  ! 

Indeed,  when  we  examine  the  merciless  school- 
drill  to  which  many  children  are  subjected,  the 
wonder  is,  not  that  it  does  great  injury,  but  that  it 
can  be  borne  at  all.  Take  the  instance  given  by 
Sir  John  Forbes  from  personal  knowledge ;  and 
which  he  asserts,  after  much  inquiry,  to  be  an 
average  sample  of  the  middle-class  girl's-school  sys- 
tem throughout  England.  Omitting  the  detailed 
divisions  of  time,  we  quote  the  summary  of  the 
twenty-four  hours. 


In  bed 9  hours  (tiic  joungcr  10) 

In  school,  at  their  studies   and 

tasks 9     " 

In  school,   or  in  the  liouso,  the 

older    at    optional    studies  or 

the  work,  younger  at  play  .     .     oi  "       (the  younger  2h) 

At  meals H  " 

Exercise  in  the  open  air,  in  the 

shape  of  a  formal  walk,  often 

with  lesson  books  in  hand,  and 

even  this  only  when  the  wea- 
ther is   fine  at    the  appointed 

time 1     " 


And  what  are  the  results  of  this  "astonndnig 
regimen,"  as  Sir  John  Forbes  terms  it?  Of  course 
feebleness,  pallor,  want  of  s])irits,  general  ill-health. 
But  he  describes  something  more.  This  utter  dis- 
regard of  physical  welfare,  out  of  extreme  anxiety 
to  cultivate  the  mind — this  prolonged  exercise  of 
the  brain  and  deficient  exercise  of  the  limbs, — he 
found  to  be  habitually  followed,  not  only  by  dis- 
ordered functions  but  by  malformation.  He  says  : 
— "  We  lately  visited,  in  a  large  toAvn,  a  boarding- 
school  containing  forty  girls ;  and  we  learnt,  on 
close  and  accurate  inquiry,  that  there  was  not  one 
of  the  girls  who  had  been  at  the  school  two  years 
(and  the  majority  had  been  as  long)  that  was  not 
more  or  less  crooked  !  "  * 

It  may  be  that  since  1833,  when  this  was  written, 
some  improvement  has  taken  place.     We  hope  it 

*  Cyclopcedia  of  Practical  Medicine,  vol.  i.  pp.  CC7,  098. 

TIME    DEVOTED    TO    STUDY.  265 

has.  But  that  the  system  is  still  common — nay, 
that  it  is  in  some  cases  carried  even  to  a  greater 
extreme  than  ever  ;  we  can  personally  testify.  We 
recently  went  over  a  training  college  for  yonng 
men  :  one  of  those  instituted  of  late  years  for  the 
purpose  of  supplying  schools  with  well-disciplined 
teachers.  Here,  under  official  supervision,  where 
something  better  than  the  judgment  of  pri\'ate 
schoolmistresses  might  have  been  looked  for,  we 
found  the  daily  routine  to  be  as  follows  : — 

At  6  o'clock  the  students  are  called, 
"   7  to  8  studies, 

"    8  to  9  scripture  reading,  prayers,  and  breakfast, 
"   9  to  12  studies, 
''    12  to  IJ  leisure,  nominally  devoted  to  walking  or  other 

exercise,  but  often  s[)ent  in  stndj^, 
'•    1:^  to  2  dinner,  the  meal  commonly  occup3ing  twenty 

"   2  to  5  studies, 
"  5  to  G  tea  and  relaxation, 
"   6  to  8i  studies, 
"   8^  to  9|  private  studies  in  preparing  lessons  for  the  next 

"    10  to  bed. 

Thus,  out  of  the  twenty-four  hours,  eight  are  de- 
voted to  sleep ;  four  and  a  quarter  are  occupied  in 
dressing,  prayers,  meals,  and  the  brief  periods  of 
rest  accompanying  them ;  ten  and  a  half  are  given 
to  study  ;  and  one  and  a  quarter  to  exercise,  which 
is  optional  and  often  avoided.  Not  only,  however, 
is  it  that  the  ten  and  a  half  hours  of  recognised 
study  are  freqnently  increased  to  eleven  and  a  half 


by  devoting  to  books  the  time  set  apart  for  exercise  ; 
but  some  of  the  students  who  are  not  quick  in  learn- 
ing, get  up  at  four  o'clock  in  the  morning  to  prepare 
their  lessons  ;  and  are  actually  encouraged  by  their 
teachers  to  do  this !  The  course  to  be  passed 
through  in  a  given  time  is  so  extensive  ;  the  teach- 
ers, whose  credit  is  at  stake  in  getting  their  pupils 
well  through  the  examinations,  are  so  urgent;  and 
the  difficulty  of  satisfying  the  requirements  is  so 
great;  that  pupils  are  not  uncommonly  induced  to 
spend  twelve  and  thirteen  hours  a  day  in  mental 
labour ! 

It  needs  no  prophet  to  see  that  the  bodily  injury 
inflicted  must  be  great.  As  we  were  told  by  one 
of  the  inmates,  those  who  arrive  with  fresh  com- 
plexions quickly  become  blanched.  Illness  is  fre- 
quent:  there  are  always  some  on  the  sick-list.  Fail- 
ure of  appetite  and  indigestion  are  very  common.  Di- 
arrhoea is  a  prevalent  disorder :  not  mieommonly  a 
third  of  the  whole  number  of  students  suffering 
under  it  at  the  same  time.  Headache  is  generally 
complained  of;  and  b\'  some  is  borne  almost  daily 
for  months.  While  a  certain  percentage  break 
down  entirely  and  go  away. 

That  this  should  be  the  regimen  of  what  is  in 
some  sort  a  model  institution,  established  and  super- 
intended by  the  embodied  enlightenment  of  the 
aere,  is  a  startlinsj;  fact.  That  the  severe  examina- 
tions,  joined  with  the  short  period  assigned  for  prep- 
aration, should  practically  compel  recourse  to  a 
system  which  inevitably  undermines  the  health  of 


all  who  pass  through  it,  is  proof,  if  not  of  cruelty, 
then  of  woful  ignorance. 

Doubtless  the  case  is  in  a  great  degree  excep- 
tional— perhaps  to  be  paralleled  only  in  other  insti' 
tutions  of  the  same  class.  But  that  cases  so  extreme 
should  exist  at  all,  indicates  pretty  clearly  how 
great  is  the  extent  to  which  the  minds  of  the  rising 
generation  are  overtasked.  Expressing  as  they  do 
the  ideas  of  the  educated  community,  these  training 
colleges,  even  in  the  absence  of  all  other  evidence, 
would  conclusively  imply  a  prevailing  tendency  to 
an  unduly  urgent  system  of  culture. 

It  seems  strange  that  there  should  be  so  little 
consciousness  of  the  dangers  of  over-education  dur- 
ing youth,  when  there  is  so  general  a  consciousness 
of  the  dangers  of  over-education  during  childhood. 
Most  parents  are  more  or  less  aware  of  the  evil 
consequences  that  follow  infant  precocity.  In  every 
society  may  be  heard  reprobation  of  those  who  too 
early  stimulate  the  minds  of  their  little  ones.  And 
the  dread  of  this  early  stimulation  is  great  in  pro- 
portion as  there  is  adequate  knowledge  of  the 
effects  :  witness  the  implied  opinion  of  one  of  our 
most  distinguished  professors  of  physiology,  who 
told  us  that  he  did  not  intend  his  little  boy  to  learn 
any  lessons  until  he  was  eight  years  old.  But 
while  to  all  it  is  a  familiar  truth  that  a  forced 
development  of  intelligence  in  childhood  entails 
disastrous  results — either  physical  feebleness,  or 
ultimate  stupidity,  or  early  death — it  appears  not 
to  be  perceived  that  throughout  youth  the  same 


truth  holds.  Yet  it  is  certain  that  it  must  do  so. 
There  is  a  given  order  in  whicli,  and  a  given  rate 
at  which,  the  faculties  unfold.  If  the  course  of 
education  conforms  itself  to  that  order  and  rate, 
well.  If  not — if  the  higher  faculties  are  early  taxed 
by  presenting  an  order  of  knowledge  more  complex 
and  abstract  than  can  be  readily  assimilated  ;  or  if, 
by  excess  of  culture,  the  intellect  in  general  is 
developed  to  a  degree  bej^ond  that  whicli  is  natural  _ 

to  the  age;  the  abnormal  result  so  produced  will  m 

inevitably  be  accompanied  by  some  equivalent,  or 
more  than  equivalent,  evih 

For  ligature  is  a  strict  accountant ;  and  if  you 
demand  of  lier  in  one  direction  more  than  she  is 
prepared  to  lay  out,  she  balances  the  account  by 
making  a  deduction  elsewhere.  If  you  M-ill  let  her 
follow  her  own  course,  taking  care  to  supply,  in 
right  quantities  and  kinds,  the  raw  materials  of 
bodily  and  mental  growth  required  at  each  age,  she 
will  eventually  produce  an  individual  more  or  less 
evenly  developed.  If,  however,  you  insist  on  pre- 
mature or  undue  growth  of  any  one  part,  she  will, 
with  more  or  less  protest,  concede  the  point ;  but 
that  she  may  do  your  extra  work,  she  must  leave 
some  of  her  more  important  work  undone.  Let  it 
never  be  forgotten  that  the  amount  of  vital  energy 
which  the  body  at  any  moment  possesses  is  limited ; 
and  that,  being  limited,  it  is  impossible  to  get  from 
it  more  than  a  fixed  quantity  of  results.  In  a  child 
or  youth  the  demands  upon  this  vital  energy  are 
various  and  ni-gent.     As  before  pointed  out,  the 


V  aste  consequent  on  the  day's  bodily  exercise  has 
to  be  repaired ;  the  wear  of  brain  entailed  by  the 
day's  study  has  to  be  made  good  ;  a  certain  addi- 
tional growth  of  body  has  to  be  provided  for ;  and 
also  a  certain  additional  growth  of  brain :  add  to 
which  the  amount  of  energy  absorbed  in  the  diges- 
tion of  the  large  quantity  of  food  required  for  meet- 
ing these  many  demands.  Now,  that  to  div^ert  an 
excess  of  energ}"  into  any  one  of  these  channels  if* 
to  abstract  it  from  the  others,  is  not  only  manifest 
d  2>'i'iQrl ;  but  may  be  shown  a  foderiori  from  the 
experience  of  every  one.  Every  one  knows,  for  in- 
stance, that  the  digestion  of  a  heavy  meal  makes 
such  a  demand  on  the  system  as  to  produce  lassi- 
tude of  mind  and  body,  ending  not  unt'requently  in 
sleep.  Every  one  knows,  too,  that  excess  of  bodily 
exercise  diminishes  the  power  of  thought — that  the 
temporary  prostration  following  any  sudden  exer- 
tion, or  the  fatigue  produced  by  a  thirty  miles' 
walk,  is  accompanied  by  a  disinclination  to  mental 
effort ;  that,  after  a  month's  pedestrian  tour,  the 
mental  inertia  is  snch  that  some  days  are  required 
to  overcome  it ;  and  that  in  peasants  who  spend  their 
lives  in  muscular  labour  the  activity  of  mind  is  very 
small.  Again,  it  is  a  truth  familiar  to  all  that  dur- 
ing those  fits  of  extreme  rapid  growth  which  s'::ne- 
times  occur  in  childhood,  the  great  abstraction  of 
energy  is  shown  in  the  attendant  prostration,  bodily 
and  mental.  Once  more,  the  facts  that  violent 
muscular  exertion  after  eating  will  stop  digestion, 
and  that  children  who  are  early  put  to  hard  labour 


become  stunted,  similarly  exhibit  the  antagonism 
— similarly  imply  that  excess  of  activity  in  one 
direction  involves  deficiency  of  it  in  other  direc- 
tions. Now,  the  law  which  is  thus  manifest  in  ex- 
treme cases  holds  in  all  cases.  These  injurious  ab- 
stractions of  energy  as  certainly  take  i)lace  when 
the  undue  demands  are  slight  and  constant,  as 
when  they  are  great  and  sudden.  Hence,  if  in 
youth,  the  expenditure  in  mental  labour  exceeds 
that  which  nature  had  provided  for ;  the  expendi- 
ture for  other  purposes  falls  below  what  it  should 
have  Ijeen :  and  evils  of  one  kind  or  other  are  inev- 
itably entailed.  Let  us  briefly  consider  these  evils. 
Supposing  the  over-activity  of  brain  not  to  be 
extreme,  but  to  exceed  the  normal  activity  only  in 
a  moderate  degree,  there  will  be  nothing  more  than 
some  slight  reaction  on  the  development  of  the 
body :  the  stature  falling  a  little  below  that  which 
it  would  else  have  reached ;  or  the  bulk  being  less 
than  it  would  have  been ;  or  the  (piality  of  tissue 
being  not  so  good.  One  or  more  of  these  effects 
must  necessarily  occur.  The  extra  quantity  of 
blood  supplied  to  the  brain,  not  only  during  the 
period  of  mental  exertion,  but  during  the  subse- 
quent period  in  which  the  waste  of  cerebral  sub- 
stance is  being  made  good,  is  blood  that  would  else 
have  been  circulating  through  the  limbs  and  vis- 
cera; and  the  amount  of  growth  or  repair  for  which 
that  blood  would  have  supplied  materials,  is  lost. 
This  physical  reaction  being  certain,  the  question 
is,  whether  the  gain  resulting  from  the  extra  cul- 


ture  is  equivalent  to  the  loss  ? — whether  defect  of 
bodily  growth,  or  the  want  of  that  structural  per- 
fection M'hich  gives  high  vigour  and  endurance, 
is  compensated  for  by  the  additional  knowledge 
gained  ? 

^Vhen  the  excess  of  mental  exertion  is  greater, 
there  follow  results  far  more  serious;  telling  not 
0!ily  against  bodily  perfection,  but  against  the 
perfection  of  the  brain  itself.  It  is  a  physiological 
law,  first  pointed  out  by  M.  Isidore  St.  Hilaire,  and 
to  which  attention  has  been  drawn  by  Mr.  Lewes 
in  his  essay  on  Dwarfs  and  Giants^  that  there  is 
an  antagonism  between  growth  and  development. 
By  growth,  as  used  in  this  antithetical  sense,  is  to 
be  understood  increase  of  size ;  by  development, 
increase  of  structure.  And  the  law  is,  that  great 
activity  in  either  of  these  processes  involves  retar- 
dation or  arrest  of  the  other.  A  familiar  illustra- 
tion is  furnished  by  the  cases  of  the  caterpillar  and 
the  chrysalis.  In  the  caterpillar  there  is  extremely 
rapid  augmentation  of  bulk ;  but  the  structure  is 
scarcely  at  all  more  complex  when  the  caterpillar 
is  full-grown  than  when  it  is  small.  In  the  chrj-sa- 
lis  the  bulk  does  not  increase ;  on  the  contrary, 
weight  is  lost  during  this  stage  of  the  creature's 
life ;  but  the  elaboration  of  a  more  complex  struc- 
ture goes  on  with  great  activity.  The  antagonism, 
here  so  clear,  is  less  traceable  in  higher  creatures, 
becUuse  the  two  processes  are  carried  on  together. 
But  we  see  it  pretty  well  illustrated  among  our- 
selves by  contrasting  the  sexes.  A  girl  develops 


in  body  and  mind  rapidly,  and  ceases  to  grow  com- 
paratively early.  A  boy's  bodily  and  mental  de- 
velopment is  slower,  and  his  growth  greater.  At 
the  age  when  the  one  is  mature,  finished,  and  hav- 
ing all  faculties  in  full  play,  the  other,  whose  vital 
energies  have  been  more  directed  towards  increase 
of  size,  is  relatively  incomplete  in  structure ;  and 
shows  it  in  a  comparative  awkwardness,  bodily  and 
mental.  Now  this  law  is  true  not  only  of  the 
organism  as  a  whole,  but  of  each  separate  part. 
The  abnormally  rapid  advance  of  any  part  in  re- 
spect of  structure  involves  premature  arrest  of  its 
growth;  and  this  happens  with  the  organ  of  the 
mind  as  certainly  as  with  any  other  oi-gan.  The 
brain,  which  during  early  years  is  relatively  large 
in  mass  but  imperfect  in  structure  will,  if  required 
to  perform  its  functions  with  undue  activity,  under- 
go a  structural  advance  greater  than  is  appropriate 
to  the  age ;  but  the  ultimate  eflfect  will  be  a  falling 
short  of  the  size  and  power  that  would  else  have 
been  attained.  And  this  is  a  part  cause — probably 
the  chief  cause — why  precocious  children,  and 
youths  who  up  to  a  certain  time  were  carrying  all 
before  them,  so  often  stop  short  and  disappoint  the 
high  hopes  of  their  parents. 

But  these  results  of  over-education,  disastrous 
as  they  are,  are  perhaps  less  disastrous  than  the  re- 
sults produced  upon  the  health — the  undermined 
constitution,  the  enfeebled  energies,  the  morbid 
feelings.  Eecent  discoveries  in  physiology  have 
shown  how  immense  is  the  influence  of  the  brain 


over  the  functions  of  the  body.  The  digestion  of 
the  food,  the  circulation  of  the  blood,  and  through 
these  all  other  organic  processes,  are  profoundly 
afiected  by  cerebral  excitement.  "Whoever  has 
seen  repeated,  as  we  have,  the  experiment  first  per- 
formed by  Weber,  showing  the  consequence  of 
irritating  the  vagus  nerve  which  connects  the  brain 
with  the  viscera — whoever  has  seen  the  action  of 
the  heart  suddenly  arrested  by  the  irrital  'on  of  this 
nerve;  slowly  recommencing  when  the  irritation  is 
suspended ;  and  again  arrested  the  moment  it  is  re- 
newed ;  will  have  a  vivid  conception  of  the  depress' 
ing  influence  which  an  over-wrought  brain  exer- 
cises on  the  body.  The  effects  thus  physiologically 
explained,  are  indeed  exemplified  in  ordinary  ex- 
perience. There  is  no  one  but  has  felt  the  palpita- 
tion accompanying  hope,  fear,  anger,  joy — no  one 
but  has  observed  how  laboured  becomes  the  action 
of  the  heart  when  these  feelings  are  very  violent. 
And  though  there  are  many  who  have  never  them 
selves  suffered  that  extreme  emotional  excitement 
whicli  is  followed  by  arrest  of  the  heart's  action 
and  fainting;  yet  every  one  knows  them  to  be 
cause  and  effect.  It  is  a  familiar  fact,  too,  that  dis- 
turbance of  the  stomach  is  entailed  by  mental  ex- 
citement exceeding  a  certain  intensity.  Loss  of 
appetite  is  a  common  result  alike  of  very  pleasura- 
ble and  very  painful  states  of  mind.  When  the 
event  producing  a  pleasurable  or  painful  state  of 
mind  occurs  shortly  after  a  meal,  it  not  unfrequent- 
ly  happens  either  that  the  stomach  rejects  what  has 


been  eaten,  or  digests  it  with  great  difficulty  and 
under  prolonged  protest.  And  as  every  one  who 
taxes  his  brain  much  can  testify,  even  purely  intel- 
lectual action  will,  when  excessive,  produce  analo- 
gous efiects.  Now  the  relation  between  brain  and 
body  which  is  so  manifest  in  these  extreme  cases, 
holds  equally  in  ordinaiy,  less-marked  cases.  Just 
as  tliese  violent  but  temporary  cerebral  excitements 
produce  violent  but  temporary  disturbances  of  the 
viscera ;  so  do  the  less  violent  but  chronic  cerebral 
excitements,  produce  less  violent  but  chronic  visce- 
ral disturbances.  This  is  not  8im})ly  an  inference 
— it  is  a  truth  to  which  every  medical  man  can 
bear  Avitness  ;  and  it  is  one  to  which  a  long  and  sad 
experience  enables  us  to  give  personal  testimony. 
Various  degrees  and  forms  of  bodily  derangement, 
often  taking  years  of  enforced  idleness  to  set  par- 
tially right,  result  from  this  prolonged  overexertion 
of  mind.  Sometimes  the  heart  is  chiefly  affected  : 
habitual  palpitations;  a  pulse  much  enfeebled," 
and  very  generally  a  diminution  in  the  number  of 
beats  from  seventy-two  to  sixty,  or  even  fewer. 
Sometimes  the  conspicuous  disorder  is  of  the  stom- 
ach :  a  d3"spepsia  which  makes  life  a  burden,  and 
is  amenable  to  no  remedy  but  time.  In  many  cases 
both  heart  and  stomach  are  implicated.  Mostly 
the  sleep  is  short  and  broken.  And  very  generally 
there  is  more  or  less  mental  depression. 

Consider,  then,  how  great  must  be  the  damage 
inflicted  by  undue  mental  excitement  on  children 
?vnd  youths.     More  or  less  of  this  constitutional  dis- 


turbance  will  inevitably  follow  an  exertion  of  brain 
beyond  that  which  nature  had  provided  for ;  and 
when  not  so  excessive  as  to  produce  absolute  illness, 
is  sure  to  entail  a  slowly  accumulating  degeneracy 
oi physique.  With  a  small  and  fastidious  appetite, 
an  imperfect  digestion,  and  an  enfeebled  circula- 
tion, how  can  the  developing  body  flourish?  Tlie 
due  performance  of  every  vital  process  depends 
on  the  adequate  supply  of  good  blood.  "Without 
enough  good  blood,  no  gland  can  secrete  properly, 
no  viscus  can  fully  discharge  its  office.  Without 
enough  good  blood,  no  nerve,  muscle,  membrane, 
or  other  tissue  can  be  efficiently  repaired.  With- 
out enough  good  blood,  growth  will  neither  bo 
sound  nor  sufficients  Judge,  then,  how  bad  must 
be  the  consecpiences  when  to  a  growing  body  th3 
weakened  stomach  supplies  blood  that  is  deficient 
in  quantity  and  poor  in  quality;  while  the  debili- 
tated heart  propels  this  poor  and  scanty  blood  with 
unnatural  slowness. 

And  if,  as  all  who  candidly  investigate  the  mat- 
ter must  admit,  physical  degeneracy  is  a  conse- 
quence of  excessive  study,  how  grave  is  the  con- 
demnation to  be  passed  upon  this  cramming  sys- 
tem above  exemplified.  It  is  a  terrible  mistake, 
from  whatever  point  of  view  regarded.  It  is  a 
mistake  in  so  far  as  the  mere  acquirement  of  knowl- 
edge is  concerned :  for  it  is  notorious  that  the 
mind,  like  the  body,  cannot  assimilate  beyond  a 
certain  rate ;  and  if  you  ply  it  with  facts  faster 
than  it  can  assimilate  them,  they  are  very  soon  re- 


jected  again  :  tliey  do  not  become  permanently 
built  into  the  intellectual  fabric  ;  but  fall  out  of 
recollection  after  the  passing  of  the  examination 
for  which  they  were  got  up.  It  is  a  mistake,  too, 
because  it  tends  to  make  study  distasteful.  Either 
through  the  painful  associations  produced  by  cease- 
less mental  toil,  or  through  the  abnormal  state  of 
brain  it  leaves  behind,  it  often  generates  an  aver- 
sion to  books  ;  and,  instead  of  that  subsequent  self- 
culture  induced  by  a  rational  education,  there 
comes  a  continued  retrogression.  It  is  a  mistake, 
also,  inasmuch  as  it  assumes  that  the  acquisition  of 
knowledge  is  everything  ;  and  forgets  that  a  much 
more  important  matter  is  the  organization  of  knowl- 
edge, for  which  time  and  spontaneous  thinking  are 
requisite.  Just  as  Humboldt  remarks  respecting 
the  progress  of  intelligence  in  general,  that  "  the 
interpretation  of  nature  is  obscured  when  the  de- 
scription languishes  under  too  great  an  accumula- 
tion of  insulated  facts;"  so  it  maybe  remarked, 
respecting  the  progress  of  individual  intelligence, 
that  the  mind  is  overburdened  and  hampered  by 
an  excess  of  ill-digested  information.  It  is  not  the 
knowledge  stored  up  as  intellectual  fat  M-hich  is  of 
value  ;  but  that  which  is  turned  into  intellectual 
muscle.  But  the  mistake  is  still  deeper.  Even 
were  the  system  good  as  a  system  of  intellectual 
training,  which  it  is  not,  it  would  still  be  bad,  be- 
cause, as  we  have  shown,  it  is  fatal  to  that  vigour 
oi  2)hysique  which  is  needful  to  make  intellectual 
draining  available  in  the  struggle  of  life.    Those 


who,  in  eagerness  to  cultivate  tlieir  pupils'  minds, 
are  reckless  of  their  bodies,  do  not  remember  that 
success  in  the  world  depends  much  more  upon  en- 
ergy than  upon  information ;  and  that  a  policy 
which  in  cramming  with  information  undermines 
energy,  is  self-defeating.  The  strong  will  and  un- 
tiring activity  which  result  from  abundant  animal 
vigour,  go  far  to  compensate  even  for  great  defects 
of  education  ;  and  when  joined  with  that  quite  ad- 
equate education  which  may  be  obtained  without 
sacrificing  health,  they  ensure  an  easy  victory  over 
competitors  enfeebled  by  excessive  study:  prodi- 
gies of  learning  though  they  may  be.  A  compara- 
tively small  and  ill-made  engine,  worked  at  high- 
pressure,  will  do  more  than  a  larger  and  well-fin- 
ished one  worked  at  low-pressure.  What  folly  is 
it,  then,  while  finishing  the  engine,  so  to  damage 
the  boiler  that  it  will  not  generate  steam  !  Once 
'more,  the  system  is  a  mistake,  as  involving  a  false 
estimate  of  welfare  in  life.  Even  supposing  it 
were  a  means  to  worldly  success,  instead  of  a  means 
to  worldly  failure,  yet,  in  the  entailed  ill-health,  it 
would  inflict  a  more  than  equivalent  curse.  What 
boots  it  to  have  attained  wealth,  if  the  wealth  is 
accompanied  by  ceaseless  ailments  ?  What  is  the 
worth  of  distinction,  if  it  has  brought  hypochon- 
dria with  it  ?  Surely  none  needs  telling  that  a  good 
digestion,  a  bounding  pulse,  and  high  spirits  are 
elements  of  happiness  which  no  external  advan- 
tages can  outbalance.  Chronic  bodil}'-  disorder 
casts  a  gloom  over  the  brightest  prospects ;  while 


the  vivacity  of  strong  health  gilds  even  inisfortuiie. 
We  contend,  then,  that  this  over-education  is  vi- 
cious in  every  M'ay — vicious,  as  giving  kno"\vledge 
that  will  soon  be  forgotten  ;  vicious,  as  producing 
a  disgust  for  knowledge ;  vicious,  as  neglecting 
th&,t  organization  of  knowledge  which  is  mo)'e  ini- 
}3ortant  than  its  acquisition  ;  vicious,  as  weakening 
or  destroying  that  energy,  without  M-hicli  a  trained 
intellect  is  useless  ;  vicious,  as  entailing  that  ill- 
health  for  which  even  success  would  not  compen- 
sate, and  which  makes  failure  doubly  bitter. 

On  women  the  eflects  of  this  forcing  system 
are,  if  possible,  even  more  injurious  than  on  men. 
Being  in  great  measure  debarred  from  those  vigor- 
ous and  enjoyable  exercises  of  body  by  which  boys 
mitigate  the  evils  of  excessive  study,  girls  feed 
these  evils  in  their  full  intensity.  Hence,  the 
much  smaller  proportion  of  them  who  grow  up 
well  made  and  healthy.  In  the  pale,  angular,  flat- 
chested  young  ladies,  so  abundant  in  London  djaw- 
ing-rooms,  we  see  the  effect  of  merciless  a})plica- 
tion,  unrelieved  by  youthful  sports  ;  and  this  phj-s- 
ical  degeneracy  exhibited  by  them,  hinders  their 
welfare  far  more  than  their  many  accomplishmentd 
aid  it.  Mammas  anxious  to  make  their  daughters 
attractive,  could  scarcely  choose  a  course  more  fatal 
than  this,  which  sacrifices  the  body  to  the  mind. 
Either  they  disregard  the  tastes  of  the  opposite 
sex,  or  else  their  conception  of  those  tastes  is  erro- 
neous. Men  care  comparatively  little  for  erudition 
in  women  ;  but  very  much  for  physical  beauty,  and 


goodnature,  and  sound  sense.  How  man}'  con^ 
quests  does  the  blue-stocking  make  tlirougli  her  ex- 
tensive knowledge  of  history  ?  What  man  ever 
fell  in  love  with  a  woman  because  she  understood 
Italian  ?  Where  is  the  Edwin  who  was  brouf'-ht  tc 
Angelina's  feet  by  her  German  ?  But  rosy  cheeks 
and  laughing  eyes  are  great  attractions.  A  finely 
rounded  figure  draws  admiring  glances.  The  live- 
liness and  good  humour  that  overflowing  htaltli 
produces,  go  a  great  way  towards  establishing  at- 
tachments. Every  one  knows  cases  where  bodily 
perfections,  in  the  absence  of  all  other  recommer.- 
dations,  have  incited  a  passion  that  carried  all  be- 
fore it ;  but  scarcely  any  one  can  point  to  a  case 
where  mere  intellectual  acquirements,  apart  from 
moral  or  physical  attributes,  have  aroused  such  a 
feeling.  The  truth  is  that,  out  of  the  many  ele- 
ments uniting  in  various  proportions  to  produce  in 
a  man's  breast  that  complex  emotion  which  we  call 
love,  the  strongest  are  those  produced  by  physical 
attractions  ;  the  next  in  order  of  strength  are  those 
produced  by  moral  attractions  ;  the  weakest  are 
those  produced  by  intellectual  attractions ;  and 
even  these  are  dependent  much  less  upon  acquired 
knowledge  than  on  natural  faculty — quickness,  wit, 
insight.  If  any  think  the  assertion  a  derogatory 
one,  and  inveigh  against  the  masculine  character 
for  being  thus  swayed ;  we  reply  that  they  little 
know  what  they  say  when  they  thus  call  in  ques- 
tion the  Divine  ordinations.  Even  were  there  no 
obvious  meaning  in  the  arrangement,  we  might  be 


sure  tliat  fonie  important  end  was  subserved.  But 
tlie  meaning  is  quite  obvious  to  those  who  exam- 
ine. It  needs  but  to  remember  that  one  of  Na. 
ture's  ends,  or  rather  her  supreme  end,  is  the  wel- 
fare of  posterit}^ — it  needs  but  to  remember  that, 
in  so  far  as  jDOsterity  are  concerned,  a  cultivated 
intelligence  based  upon  a  bad  j9/*2/«/^?/e  is  of  little 
worth,  seeing  that  its  descendants  will  die  out  in  a 
generation  or  two — it  needs  but  to  bear  in  mind 
that  a  good  physique^  however  poor  the  accompa- 
nying mental  endowments,  is  worth  preserving,  be- 
causCj  throughout  future  generations,  the  mental 
endowments  may  be  indetinitely  developed — it 
needs  but  to  contemplate  these  truths,  to  see  how 
important  is  the  balance  of  instincts  above  de- 
scribed. But,  purpose  apart,  the  instincts  being 
thus  balanced,  it  is  a  fatal  folly  to  persist  in  a  sys- 
tem which  undermines  a  gii-l's  constitution  that  it 
may  overload  her  memory.  Educate  as  highly  as 
possible — the  higher  the  better — providing  no  bod- 
ily injury  is  entailed  (and  we  may  remark,  in  pass- 
ing, that  a  high  standard  might  be  so  reached  were 
the  parrot-faculty  cultivated  less,  and  the  human 
faculty  more,  and  M-ere  the  discipline  extended 
over  that  now  wasted  period  between  leaving  school 
and  being  married).  But  to  educate  in  such  man- 
ner, or  to  such  extent,  as  to  prodnce  physical  de- 
generacy, is  to  defeat  the  chief  end  for  which  the 
toil  and  cost  and  anxiety  are  submitted  to.  By 
subjecting  their  daughters  to  this  high-pressure 
system,  parents  frequently  ruin  their  prospects  in 


life.  Not  only  do  they  inflict  on  them  enfeebled 
health,  with  all  its  pains  and  disabilities  and  gloom,* 
but  very  often  they  actually  doom  them  to  celibacy. 

Our  general  conclusion  is,  then,  that  the  ordi- 
nary treatment  of  children  is,  in  various  ways,  se- 
riously prejudicial.  It  errs  in  deficient  feeding; 
in  deficient  clothing ;  in  deficient  exercise  (among 
girls  at  least);  and  in  excessive  mental  application. 
Considering  the  regime  as  a  whole,  its  tendency  is 
too  exacting  :  it  asks  too  much  and  gives  too  little. 
In  the  extent  to  which  it  taxes  the  vital  energies, 
it  makes  the  juvenile  life  much  more  like  the  adult 
life  than  it  sliould  be.  It  overlooks  the  truth  that, 
as  in  the  foetus  the  entire  vitality  is  expended  in 
the  direction  of  growth — as  in  the  infant,  the  ex- 
penditure of  vitality  in  growth  is  so  great  as  to 
leave  extremely  little  for  either  physical  or  mental 
action  ;  so  throughout  childhood  and  youth  growth 
is  the  dominant  requirement  to  which  all  others 
must  be  subordinated  :  a  requirement  which  dic- 
tates the  giving  of  much  and  the  taking  away  of 
little — a  requirement  which,  therefore,  restricts  the 
exertion  of  body  and  mind  to  a  degree  proportion- 
ate to  the  rapidity  of  growth — a  requirement  which 
permits  the  mental  and  physical  activities  to  in- 
crease only  as  fast  as  the  rate  of  growth  diminisheSo 

Kegarded  from  another  point  of  view,  this  high- 
pressure  education  manifestly  results  from  our  pass- 
ing phase  of  civilization.  In  primitive  times,  when 
aggression  and  defence  were  the  leading  social  ac* 


tivities,  bodily  vigour  with  its  accompanying  conr- 
age  were  the  desiderata ;  and  then  education  was 
almost  wholly  physical :  mental  cultivation  was  lit- 
tle cared  for,  and  indeed,  as  in  our  own  feudal  ages, 
was  often  treated  with  contempt.  But  now  that 
our  state  is  relatively  peaceful — now  that  muscular 
power  is  of  use  for  little  else  than  manual  labour, 
W'hile  social  success  of  nearly  every  kind  de- 
pends very  much  on  mental  power  ;  our  education 
has  become  almost  exclusively  mental.  Instead 
of  respecting  the  bod}'  and  ignoring  the  mind, 
we  now  resjDCct  the  mind  and  ignore  the  body. 
Both  these  attitudes  are  wrong.  We  do  not  yet 
sufficiently  realize  the  truth  that  as,  in  this  life  of 
ours,  the  physical  underlies  the  mental,  the  mental 
must  not  be  developed  at  the  expense  of  the  physi- 
cal. The  ancient  and  modern  conceptions  must  ho 

Perhaps  nothing  will  so  much  hasten  the  time 
when  body  and  mind  will  both  be  adequately'  cared 
for,  as  a  diffusion  of  the  belief  that  the  preserva- 
tion of  health  is  a  duty,  tew  seem  conscious  that 
there  is  such  a  thing  as  physical  morality.  Men's 
habitual  words  and  acts  imply  the  idea  that  they 
are  at  liberty  to  treat  their  bodies  as  they  please. 
Disorders  entailed  by  disobedience  to  ^Nature's  dic- 
tates, they  regard  simply  as  grievances  :  not  as  the 
effects  of  a  conduct  more  or  less  flagitious.  Thougli 
the  evil  consequences  inflicted  on  their  depend 
ents,  and  on  future  generations,  are  often  as  great 
as  those  caused  by  crime  j  yet  they  do  not  think 


fhemselves  in  any  degree  criminal.  It  is  true,  that, 
in  the  case  of  drunkenness,  the  viciousness  of  a 
])urely  bodily  transgression  is  recognised  ;  but  none 
appear  to  infer  that,  if  this  bodily  transgression  is 
vicious,  so  too  is  every  bodily  transgression.  The 
fact  is,  that  all  breaches  of  the  laws  of  health  are 
2)hysical  snis.  A¥hen  this  is  generally  seen,  then, 
and  perhaps  not  till  then,  will  the  physical  training 
of  the  young  receive  all  the  attention  it  deserves. 

THE    END. 


Los  Angeles 

This  book  is  DUE  on  the  last  date  stamped  below. 

JAN2  0  1S8| 





JUL  H '398 

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